Articles >

Diversity And Politics Highlight The 2017 Prime Time Emmys

By: Marjorie Galas

The 69th Prime Time Emmys were destined to be political.  They were the first Emmy telecast since Donald Trump was elected president.  Trump has attacked other actors during his endless Twitter tirades.  Steven Colbert was the evening’s host.  Indeed, the show was prime for a political slant.

After a festive musical number with cumulated with dancers dressed in “The Handmaid’s Tale” garb in a chorus line, Colbert kicked off the event on a heart-felt note.  He asked everyone to take a moment to remember the victims of the recent natural disasters around the globe, and to honor the first responders that have risked their own lives to save others.   Then he pounced.

A clip played from the second presedential debate between Trump and Clinton.  Clinton, noting the president was a sore loser, stated he was still sore that he hadn’t received an Emmy for his days producing and hosting “The Apprentice.”  The clip ended immediately after Trump quipped, “I should have won.”

“Why didn’t you give him an Emmy?” Colbert decried to the Television Academy, suggesting Trump would have forfeited his campaign run if he had a gold statue on his mantle.  “This is all your fault!”

Working his way back to the talent in one of the toughest Emmy races to predict, Colbert summed up his monologue by stating, “Unlike the Presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote.”

While there were certainly odd moments in this year’s telecast, such as Sean Spicer’s moment on the stage, momentous wins and the wealth of historic moments over-road them.  Lena Waithe was the first black woman to receive an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (she shared her award with co-writer Aziz Ansari.)  Donald Glover was the first black male to win for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series.  Riz Ahmed was the first male actor of Asian descent to win Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama. Hulu became the first streaming service to win an Emmy in the Outstanding Drama category for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”  First time director Reed Morano broke a 22 year dry spell for female directors by winning the Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Emmy for her work on “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Although there was a greater amount of diversity on display at this year’s Emmys, many creators are still experiencing challenges with the system.  During the red carpet arrivals, Issa Rae, creator and star of HBO’s “Insecure” shared challenge she faced bringing the hit show to the small screen.  She mentioned, as she shopped the project around, comments she received frequently mentioned replacing her with another actress in the lead role.

“I would be OK if they had shared their reason or gave me something to think about,” said Rae. “But they didn’t.”

Below is the complete list of winners for the 2017 Prime Time Emmy Awards:

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:

John Lithgow as Winston Churchill – The Crown

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:

Kate McKinnon as various characters – Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie:

Laura Dern as Renata Klein – Big Little Lies

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series:

Donald Glover – Atlanta, “B.A.N.”

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series:

Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Writinng for a Drama Series

Bruce Miller – The Handmaid’s Tale, “Offred”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:

Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump – Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special:

Jean-Marc Vallee – Big Little Lies

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie:

Alexander Skarsgard as Perry Wright – Big Little Lies

Outstanding Writing for a Reality Series:

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:

Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia – The Handmaid’s Tale

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series:

Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe – Master of None, “Thanksgiving”

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program:

The Voice

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series:

Reed Morano – The Handmaid’s Tale, “Offred”

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special:

Charlie Brooker – Black Mirror, San Junipero

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series:

Don Roy King – Saturday Night Live, “Host: Jimmy Fallon”

Outstanding Variety Talk Series:

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:

Donald Glover as Earn Marks – Atlanta

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer – Veep

Outstanding Comedy Series:

Veep

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie:

Riz Ahmed as Nasir “Naz” Khan – The Night Of

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie:

Nicole Kidman as Celeste Wright – Big Little Lies

Outstanding Television Movie:

Black Mirror, San Junipero

Outstanding Limited Series:

Big Little Lies

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:

Sterling K Brown as Randall Pearson – This is Us

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:

Elisabeth Moss as Offred – The Handmaid’s Tale

Outstanding Drama Series:

The Handmaid’s Tale