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Shocks and Surprises at the 2021 Emmys

Shocks and Surprises at the 2021 Emmys

The biggest shocks from this year’s Emmys came not from who won, but from who was left out. Despite a diverse range of television to choose from, the Emmys went the historically predictable route and awarded all major acting awards to White actors. Breakout shows that fans garnered widespread praise online heralded as creative interests, such as a surprisingly touching superhero show to a color-blind-casted musical to an important and personal story of assault, were overlooked for shows with overwhelmingly White casts that tell familiar stories we’re all heard before. 

Everyone’s favorite British-set drama won the most awards

Netflix’s The Crown took home an incredible 11 wins last night, including Outstanding Drama Series, both Lead Actor and Lead Actress categories, two supporting acting categories, and writing and directing categories. The show has one more year to sweep at the Emmys when its fifth and final season appears. 

No Black actors won in any major category

For years, the hashtag #EmmysSoWhite has haunted the award show as a reminder of its history of shutting out actors of colors. And despite four Black actors winning in major acting categories last year, it appears the Emmys have backtracked again, as no actors of color won in any of the major acting categories this year. There were numerous potential wins, including the late Michael K. Williams for his role in Lovecraft Country, Regé-Jean Page in Bridgerton, Kenan Thompson and Bowen Yang in Saturday Night Live, and the actors from Hamilton. However, despite a record number of 49 non-White creatives in acting categories, all major acting awards went to White actors and actresses. 

Michaela Coel’s speech proves why she won for Outstanding Writing

There was one major shining moment for a Black creatives, and that was none other than Michaela Coel, writer and star of the moving drama I May Destroy You. Coel’s heart wrenching retelling of her own sexual assault rightfully won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie. Her speech itself proved that she has a way with words, as she reminded all of us that sometimes the best way to be ourselves is to take a moment to step back and reflect. Her speech is short and  powerful, and worth listening to.



Ted Lasso charmed everyone

Ted Lasso, which follows and American football coach played by Jason Sudeikis coaching a professional soccer team in the Premiere League, scored big on Emmys night. The heart-warming show entered the night with 20 nominations in all comedies, and took home four trophies for Outstanding Comedy Series, Lead Actor, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress. It was the biggest winner for an original Apple TV+ show, proving that the streaming service knows what it takes to win the gold.

WandaVision faced a major upset

In a disappointing turn of events, Marvel’s WandaVision won zero of the five categories it was nominated in. Despite garnering enormous praise for its writing and acting from leads Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s outstanding performances, the show was overshadowed by Mare of Easttown and The Crown. WandaVision was Marvel Studios first series in collaboration with Disney Plus, shocking viewers everywhere with its story-telling abilities and portrayal of grief. It’s the only Marvel show to premiere on Disney+ this year that received any Emmy nominations, and fans had fairly high hopes the show would win in at least one category. 

Mare of Easttown was the surprise hit of the night

HBO’s Mare of Easttown, which followed Mare Shehan (Kate Winslet) as she tried to solve a murder in her hometown, turned out to make a bigger impact than anyone would have thought. Winslet and supporting co-stars Evan Peters and Julianne Nicholson picked up three major acting awards for the Limited Series categories. The show has been rumored to pick up a second season, and these awards probably just solidified that. 

The Handmaid’s Tale won the worst “award” of all

Although Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale picked up 21 nominations at this year’s Emmys, it lost every single one of its categories. It has officially set the record for the most losses in a single year, beating the previous record set by Mad Men which lost 17 awards in 2012. 

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