[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his year, the Emmy Awards 2015 made history. Normally, such awards shows are slammed for being formulaic and somewhat predictable, and ignoring the minority. But this year saw the most diverse pool of nominees ever. Unlike some award shows, which see controversy over the deserved winner, the 67th Emmys seemed to focus upon recognition and praise.
This year’s host, Andy Samberg, joked that “Racism is over – don’t fact check that” as he congratulated Hollywood for diversity being “the big story this year”.
The Emmys opened the vote to a wider selection of the Academys in hope that it might better reflect the programmes and actors that deserved to be honoured
Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder) become the first black woman ever to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama. In her speech she praised the show’s writers and critiqued Hollywood, stating “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there”.
Showrunner of How to Get Away with Murder, Shonda Rhimes, strives for ethnic and sexual diversity in each of her shows, so it seems noteworthy that it was one of her lead actors that made history in this way.
Another big story of the night was the winner of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama. After a whopping eight nominations in this category, and sixteen throughout his career, Mad Men’s Jon Hamm finally won. It was seen by many as deserved recognition for his work in the AMC show for the past eight years.
Regarded as the favourite to win after Mad Men’s series finale aired in May, Hamm beat the likes of Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) and Liev Schrieber (Ray Donovan). Humorously climbing onto the stage instead of taking the stairs, Hamm joked that it was “impossible” that he’d finally won.
This year’s Emmys also saw new records be made as Game of Thrones stole The West Wing’s record of most awards won in a night, totalling twelve. Amongst the accolades that the show won were Outstanding Drama and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama, which went to fan-favourite Peter Dinklage.
Orange is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba subsequently won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama for her role as Suzanne Warren.
This makes Aduba the first actor to win two awards for the same role – last year she won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy
Another big winner of the night was HBO’s Veep. Winning Outstanding Comedy, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy, and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy for Julia Louis Dreyfus and Tony Hale respectively.
The show’s win of Best Comedy saw Veep break the five year winning streak of Modern Family.
An honourable mention of the night must go to Transparent, Amazon’s comedy drama about a family who discover their father is transgender.
Jeffry Tambor picked up the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy, whereas director Jill Soloway thanked her transgender mother when picking up the award for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy, whilst encouraging the audience to vote for a trans equality bill.
New ground was definitely broken in the Emmy Awards 2015.