The 2020 Emmys Set a New Record for Diversity, But Not By Much

Zendaya, Regina King, Uzo Aduba and more Black stars set a record for the amount of Black actors recognized at the Emmys, but it's not what critics hoped for.

By Cydney Contreras Sep 21, 2020 3:50 AMTags

The Emmys are raising diversity standards just a little bit higher in the year of 2020.

According to a quick survey of the Emmys handed out this week at both the Creative Arts and Primetime Emmys, the Television Academy awarded one more person of color than they did last year. That's right, the record, which was previously broken last year, was raised by one more winner

Critics were hopeful that more Black actors would win considering the record number of Black people who were nominated this year. However, of the 33 stars who were nominated only eight won. 

It's not much, but it's something worth acknowledging as the Television Academy vows to work towards increasing diversity and representation in a field that is dominated by white people. 

Of the Black people who were named winners at this week's virtual ceremonies, there was Regina King, Uzo Aduba, ZendayaMaya RudolphRuPaulRon and Jasmine Cephas JonesYahya Abdul-Mateen II and Laurence Fishburne, as well as Eddie Murphy.

Notably, there were very few stars of Latinx or Asian descent who were named winners, or even nominated for that matter. 

Emmys 2020: See Every Star at the Virtual Awards Show

Emmy nominee Anthony Anderson noted his dismay that this event, which was expected to be a highlight for the Black community, was made virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic. "These Emmys would have been NBA All-Star weekend and Wakanda all wrapped in one," he quipped. "This was supposed to be the Blackest Emmys ever... Y'all wouldn't have been able to handle how Black it was gonna be, but because of COVID, we can't even get in the d--n building."

ABC/Tracee Ellis Ross/Instagram

He continued, "This isn't what it should've been, Jimmy, but you know what—I'm still rooting for everybody Black because Black stories, Black performances and Black lives matter." 

The star then concluded his speech by jokingly saying, "That's right, and because Black lives matter, Black people will stay at home tonight to be safe, which is fine because y'all don't know how to light us anyway."

And though the show didn't make leaps and bounds in the area of diversity, history was still made. Euphoria star Zendaya became the second Black actress to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series after Viola Davis became the first in 2015.

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