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On September 20, the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards aired, but no red carpet was in sight. That’s because, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was entirely virtual, though it was broadcast live with Jimmy Kimmel as host. The pandemic restrictions also meant that, in some cases, Emmy presenters wearing tuxedo hazmat suits handed out awards to some winners.
Streaming live from more than 130 cameras stationed in nominees’ homes worldwide, the first-ever virtual Emmys celebrated a monumental year for television and streaming. Here are some of this year’s big winners.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Schitt’s Creek broke a record by becoming the first series to win every major comedy award. Eugene Levy won an Emmy for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Catherine O’Hara won her first Emmy for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Likewise, Annie Murphy won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and Dan Levy (the series’ showrunner and, alongside his father Eugene Levy, its co-creator) won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
Outstanding Drama Series
Succession took home five awards, including Best Drama Series. Jeremy Strong won an Emmy for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series. The show was highly successful outside acting awards as well: Andrij Parekh won an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, and Jesse Armstrong won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie
Mark Ruffalo won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor for his role in the HBO miniseries I Know This Much Is True. During his acceptance speech, Ruffalo (who played a dual role in the series), encouraged people to vote. He said I Know This Much Is True is a story about fighting for less fortunate people, and he drew parallels to voting: “Vote for love and compassion and kindness.”
Big wins for Black actors
A record number of Black actors were both nominated and won this year. Watchmen, an HBO superhero show, won an Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series. Regina King won Best Lead Actress in a Limited Series for her starring role, and Watchmen‘s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II won Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series.
Zendaya made history and became the youngest winner for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role in Euphoria. Uzo Aduba won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for Mrs. America as well.
Out of the 18 acting awards handed out at the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, nine of them went to Black actors. It was a notable increase from last year when only 11 percent of acting winners were Black.
Despite this progress, many believe that more progress needs to be made. The Emmys faced criticism for failing to recognize the Black and Latinx trans women and nonbinary actors who star on Pose, a critically-acclaimed award-nominated drama series. Billy Porter was the only person to receive a nomination for Pose, in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category (which he won last year for the same role).
Who do you think got snubbed at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards? Who do you think deserved their awards? Sound off in the comments!