It has been eight months since the #OscarsSoWhite controversy rocked Hollywood. But, when the Television Academy announced the nominations for the 2016 Prime Time Emmys, thy proved to be more generous when it comes to diversity.
Looking at the nominations, 21 non-white actors received Emmy nods across 16 acting categories, this includes Cuba Gooding Jr. for “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross for “Black-ish” and Taraji P. Henson for “Empire,” as opposed to the Oscars nominations for the past two years, where all 20 actors nominated in an acting category were white.
This past year’s award show prompted the Academy to increase diversity among the Academy’s membership as well as in the films the organization honors.
Although there is still much to improve on, the collection of non-white names in the 2016 Emmy acting pool is a reflection of a greater inclusivity happening on the smaller screen. For the first time in the 68-year history of the Emmys, actors of color are nominated in all six leading acting categories. Also, Aziz Ansari’s nomination is groundbreaking, as Ansari is the first South Asian actor nominated for a leading role in a TV series for “Master of None.”
Last year, the Emmys also made history because it marked the first year a black woman — in this case, Viola Davis for “How to Get Away With Murder” — took home the honor of best lead actress in a drama. Davis was nominated again this year for her lead role in “How to Get Away With Murder.”
Back in 2013, Kerry Washington was the first black actress to get nominated in that category for her role as Olivia Pope in “Scandal.” Though Washington was left out in that category this year, she still picked up a nod for her starring role in the HBO movie “Confirmation.” If Don Cheadle were nominated for his role on Showtime’s “House of Lies,” he would have tied actor Robert Guillaume as the most nominated black male actor in Emmy history.
The Emmys will be broadcasted on Sept. 18 on ABC, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.