The 2021 Emmy Awards are under fire after zero actors of colour were awarded major prizes at the ceremony on Sunday (19 September).
Despite a record number of diverse nominees this year, all major acting trophies went to white actors.
Stars who had been considered frontrunners – including Billy Porter and MJ Rodriguez for Pose, the late Michael K Williams for Lovecraft Country, Michaela Coel for I May Destroy You, and Bowen Yang for Saturday Night Live – lost out in their respective categories.
Netflix’s hit period drama The Crown and Apple comedy Ted Lasso were this year’s big winners.
The Crown secured the prize for Best Drama Series, plus four acting wins for its stars Gillian Anderson, Olivia Colman, Josh O’Connor and Tobias Menzies.
Ted Lasso’s lead star Jason Sudeikis took home the Best Lead Comedy Actor trophy, while Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein were feted with best supporting actress and actor, respectively.
In the wake of the ceremony, many people have called out the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for the lack of diversity among its winners.
Filmmaker Dr Michael Alexander Cross wrote on Twitter: “Absolutely unacceptable! We’re still #EmmySoWhite in 2021.”
“They want everything we got but refuse to give us credit… take our music, dances, clothes, hairstyles, our food our neighborhoods [sic], and our lives put it on film and won’t give us our due. #EmmysSoWhite #EmmySoWhite,” wrote another person.
Absolutely unacceptable! We're still #EmmySoWhite in 2021.
— Dr. Michael Alexander Cross (@thereal_cross) September 20, 2021
I love Ted Lasso. Fiercely. But for Lovecraft Country and A Black Lady Sketch Show (among others) to be paid dust in the main awards is criminal.
Yes I will be watching Hacks and finishing Mare of Easttown. But #EmmySoWhite https://t.co/wRhuNe9U4P
— jason c-l #BLM 🇺🇸🇯🇲 (@trueirievibez) September 20, 2021
Emmys to Black actors every year: pic.twitter.com/KdvAXwMAq2
— President Kamala’s Hand (STILL) (@DearDean22) September 20, 2021
Some people have raised an appeal to “stop watching” award shows due to their lack of diversity.
One person wrote: “Year after year, award show begins and then it ends, and you are left with rage. I think it’s time to stop watching award shows. #EmmySoWhite.”
“#EmmySoWhite My expectations were low as always, but they somehow went lower. Glad I didn’t watch this year,” added another fan.
Year after year, award show begins and then it ends, and you are left with rage. I think it’s time to stop watching award shows. #EmmySoWhite
— nr davis, grateful dread peace media (@gdpr99) September 20, 2021
All the amazing talented actors of color and No Wins in the main categories.
Emmy’s you should be ashamed of yourself…Then again, why am I not surprised! #Emmy #Emmys2021 #EmmySoWhite
— Marc JayRokz 📷 🇩🇴 (@MarcJayRokzNYC) September 20, 2021
#EmmySoWhite My expectations were low as always, but they somehow went lower. Glad I didn’t watch this year.
— Joel Alexander (@jalexander305) September 20, 2021