Regina King
Regina King (Rich Fury/Getty Images)

– There is a record number of Black actors nominated for the 2020 Emmy Awards, making up about 34 percent of the nominees.

  • – The nominees include first-time honourees like Zendaya and veteran performers like Regina King.

– Thirty-six people of colour were nominated in acting roles, with a stark lack of Latinx women recognised.


The pool of Emmy-nominated actors in 2020 is refreshingly more diverse than it has been in recent years, but some groups remain underrepresented.

A record number of Black actors received nods, making up 34.3 percent of the 102 acting nominations, Variety reported. That’s a big jump from 19.8 percent last year and 27.7 percent in 2018.

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Those in the running this year include a range of performers, like first-timers Zendaya (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Euphoria), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Watchmen), and Jeremy Pope (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Hollywood). Repeat nominees and veterans are also in the mix, like Regina King (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for Watchmen), Don Cheadle (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Black Monday), and Cicely Tyson (Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for How to Get Away with Murder).

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Photo: Getty

Some are also nominated more than once, like Maya Rudolph, who has two bids for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (The Good Place and Saturday Night Live), and Sterling K. Brown, who’s in the running for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (This Is Us) and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).

Other Black performers vying for statues this year include but are not limited to: Kerry Washington for Little Fires Everywhere, Octavia Spencer for Self Made, Billy Porter for Pose, Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson for Black-ish,  for Orange Is the New Black, Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji for Insecure, RuPaul for RuPaul’s Drag Race, Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton for Westworld, Mahershala Ali for Ramy, Kenan Thompson for Saturday Night Live, Uzo Aduba for Mrs. America, Samira Wiley for The Handmaid’s Tale, Tituss Burgess for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend, and Louis Gossett Jr. for Watchmen.

According to Deadline, within the total acting nominees, 36 are actors of colour—Killing Eve‘s Sandra Oh and Ramy‘s Ramy Youssef among them—and 11 identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Among the nominated hosts, six are people of colour and seven identify as LGBTQ+.

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Laverne Cox
Photo: Getty

There is still progress to be made, though. After the nominations were announced, viewers pointed out that Latinx women were glaringly missing from the acting categories, even though they delivered powerful performances over the past year. Among them are screen icon Rita Moreno of One Day at a Time, the stars of Vida, Laura Goméz of Orange Is the New Black, any cast members of the beloved new series Gentefied, and Mj Rodriguez of Pose, according to The Daily Beast. Fans also noticed that Rodriguez and her trans and nonbinary castmates were noticeably denied nominations, as Porter was the only Pose star nominated.

As for those behind the lens, women directors broke records, landing nominations in all seven directing categories (which are notoriously male-dominated) and taking up 33 percent of the nominations, The Wrap reported. That’s a big increase from last year’s 18 percent. Amy Sherman-Palladino (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Jessica Hobbs (The Crown), and Gail Mancuso (Modern Family) are among those who received nods. And in the writing categories, women make up 27.5 percent of the nominees, a slight increase from the year prior by less than 1 percent. Though the progress is worth celebrating, there’s certainly room to keep growing—33 percent does not equal 50 percent.

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.

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