The Crown and Ted Lasso swept the acting awards at this year’s Emmys. Despite fielding one of the most diverse rundowns of nominations in Emmys history , the 2021 ceremony caused controversy Sunday by awarding all the major acting Emmys to white performers .
Favored nominees like the late Michael K. Williams and Billy Porter lost to The Crown actors Tobias Menzies and Josh O’Connor, respectively. Kenan Thompson and Bowen Yang lost to Jason Sudeikis and Brett Goldstein from Ted Lasso.
As a result, the hashtag #EmmysSoWhite began trending on Twitter. Get the CNET Culture newsletter
Many made the point that despite the fact that Black artists made up a significant number of announcers, hosts and musical performers, none of the actors nominated won in their category. "Black host, Black announcer hell even Black music," tweeted Emmy award-winning audio engineer Alexandria Perryman. "We doing everything but win."
Others noted that although they made up a significant percentage of nominees, no actors of color took home a major award. Despite losing out in a number of other awards, including an acting award — which went to Kate Winslet from Mare of Easttown — Michaela Coel won best limited series/TV movie writing for her work on I May Destroy You. A similar Twitter trend #OscarsSoWhite led to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences introducing a mandatory diversity standard that future films would have to meet in order to be eligible for the Best Picture award. Coming into effect in 2024 for the 96th Academy Awards, the standards require films to achieve diversity across a number of categories including on-screen representation, creative leadership and audience development.
"We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry," said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.
It remains to be seen whether this online trend could result in a similar response for future Emmy award ceremonies. The Emmys didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. First published on Sept. 19, 2021 at 9:58 p.m. PT.