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The 2020 Emmys Sets Record For Black Actor Wins

Source: ABC / Getty

it was a fantastic night for Black Hollywood during the 72nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

Despite the COVID-19 global pandemic still being a thing, the show went on as television’s brightest all converged on Hollywood virtually, while in the safety of their own watch party bubbles and homes. We not gonna lie, while watching Schitt’s Creek sweep all comedy categories, which meant that Insecure coming off its best season, nabbed one award out its 8 nominations, we were beginning to worry if it was gonna be a long night. BUT, it was refreshing to see  Dan Levy, who won awards for writing, directing, and supporting actor shoutout of Issa Rae’s hit HBO comedy series in one his acceptance speeches.

“I want to recognize Issa Rae and the writers on Insecure for writing some of the funniest, most heartfelt television of the year.”

Following that, things began to brighten up during the socially distanced award show. Regina King started the streak of Black excellence when she won for lead actress in a limited series or movie for her stellar performance as Angela Abar (a.k.a. Sister Night) in Watchmen. Her win was a record tieing won putting her in the conversation with the legendary for most acting Emmys won by a Black performer. During her speech, King used her time to speak on voting, telling viewers to have a “have a voting plan,” and directing them to “go to, vote up the ballot.” King also acknowledged the late supreme court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with a short and sweet “rest in power, RBG.” She did all of this while rocking a Breonna Taylor t-shirt making sure we don’t forget about her.

King’s co-star, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, also won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series for his phenomenal portrayal as Dr. Manhattan in the stellar HBO Series Watchmen also won multiple awards in the creative department. Following his win, Mateen II, who was admittedly surprised at his victory, delivered a fantastic speech in which he dedicated his Emmy Award to all of the Black women in his life while breaking down the story of Watchmen.

Zendaya also made history last night when she won Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal as Rue in the HBO coming-of-age drama Euphoria. She became the youngest actress to win the award and only the second Black woman to do so, following Viola Davis, who took home the golden lady in that category back in 2015.

Other examples of Black excellence included Tyler Perry, the recipient of the Governor’s Award, and UZO Aduba, who won outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie. On Saturday (Sept.19), Eddie Murphy won his first Emmy Award for his guest appearance on SNL, which honestly was long overdue. Maya Rudolph also was blessed with an award for her portrayal as Kamala Harris on the iconic sketch comedy show. Laurence Fishburne won a short-form Emmy for his role in the Quibi show #FreeRayshawn. Last but certainly not least, Cephas Jones and his daughter Jasmine Cephas Jones made history after becoming the first father and daughter team to win awards in the same year.

It was a great night to be rooting for everybody that is Black indeed.

Photo: ABC / Getty

Emmys So Black: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Regina King, Zendaya & More Snag Golden Lady Statuettes  was originally published on