Film Editor Jade Matlock reflects on the nominations of the 2020 Emmys awards, and is sceptical as to whether the winners will reflect the diversity of the nominees
The Emmys. It’s the closest thing that TV has to the Academy Awards. And with no end to Lockdown in sight, it appears that the nominations could not have been released at a better time. What is particularly refreshing to witness is that there appears to be a flip in the script: amongst the crop of predictable nominations has arisen a diverse range of newcomers. But without further ado, let’s get into the nominees.
2020 has been the year for new TV networks, with Disney+ fan favourite The Mandalorian snatching 15 nominations including a vital slot in the Best Drama Series category. Apple TV’s smash hit The Morning Show also scored major nominations for the performances of Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carrell while Little Fires Everywhere and its star Kerry Washington also received nominations. This news comes as a surprise to no one with all three shows being critically acclaimed by their audiences.
The acting categories were full of the familiar faces that we have come to expect from the Emmys; for the third year since its premiere, Sandra Oh has been recognised for her performance in Killing Eve, and The Marvelous Miss Maisel secured another twenty nominations. While both series have been consistently good quality over the years, it cannot be disputed that both seem to have dwindled in excitement in their latest seasons. With shows such as Euphoria, which scored one nomination for Zendaya’s performance, seemingly paving the way for a more diverse representation of young people in television, is it time for nominations to be spread more evenly?
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One thing that we can be thankful for in this year’s nominations is that they are, if only slightly, more diverse than in previous years. The rise in the nomination of people of colour has risen dramatically from last year, rising from 16% to 33% in the number of black actors being nominated in major categories. With nominations for Billy Porter (Pose), Zendaya (Euphoria), Thandie Newton (Westworld) and Laverne Cox (Orange in the New Black) to name a few, it appears that the Emmys have learned from the mistakes of other major award shows in representation.
But this is by no means enough to excuse it of its neglect of Latino actors and series. There have been a plethora of talented Latino performances that deserve to be recognised alongside their peers. One Day At A Time, that in 2019 was saved from cancellation, has been heralded as a step in the right direction towards the representation that people are desperately craving. Performances from Diego Luna in Narcos: Mexico, Pedro Pascal in The Mandalorian and Stephanie Beatriz in Brooklyn Nine-Nine prove that there is no shortage of exceptional talent to choose from. This move seems like an epic misstep in a nominations list that was otherwise headed towards greater equality.
With September inching closer and closer, the Emmys will be here before we know it. This year’s take on a virtual ceremony will undoubtedly be an interesting watch. While television lovers around the world rejoice in its going head, I will be waiting to see if the winners of each category reflect the diversity of the nominees. Only time will tell.
The Emmys awards ceremony will be available to stream in the UK at 1 am on Monday 21 September 2020.
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