The 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards did not hesitate in setting some incredible milestones this year. With new voices being heard, new faces basked in recognition from their peers for making incredible television.
Emmy voters awarded several people of color for their accomplishments, making it obvious how diverse and inclusive the media industry wants to be.
Riz Ahmed, who played Nasir "Naz" Khan in HBO’s “The Night Of,” won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series. He is now the first ever man of an Asian descent to win an Emmy for acting. The show takes on the issues of xenophobia faced by minorities in society.
"I don’t know if any one person’s win of an award, or one person snagging one role, or one person doing very well changes something that’s a systemic issue ... I think that’s something that happens slowly over time," said the British-Pakistani actor after his win at the Emmys press room.
Adding to the list of firsts, Donald Glover became the first ever black man to win for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series. He also won for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, all thanks to his performance in the the hit FX show, "Atlanta."
No black director ever won in the category of best directing in comedy, and just one other black actor had won the award for Best Actor in a Comedy, Robert Guillaume, in 1985, before Glover.
Similarly, Lena Waithe became the first black woman to win for comedy writing for the “Thanksgiving” episode of “Master of None.” She co-wrote the episode with series co-creator Aziz Ansari. The show was about a lesbian disclosing her identity to her family and the experiences that follow.
Waithe addressed the LGBTQ+ community in her powerful Emmy acceptance speech.
"I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different, those are our superpowers," Waithe said. "Every day when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren't in it."
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Lucy Nicholson