An award show that promoted itself to be the most diverse in its history ended up being a parade of all white winners.
2018’s Emmy Award Show was nothing short of eventful with moments like Betty White receiving a standing ovation and Glen Weiss proposing to longtime girlfriend Jan Svendsen leaving the media in a buzz. However, one important conversation that needs to be had is how an award show that promoted itself to be the most diverse in its history ended up being a parade of all white winners.
The 70th Annual Emmy’s opened with a star-studded musical number that poked lighthearted jokes at the state of our very white and very male media, with “We solved it!” being the punchline. It was a promising intro to what was set up to be a historic night, but in all actuality, it fell short.
In summation: the winners were monochromatic, many male and female minority and minority-heavy shows were overshadowed, and the audience noticed. The Late, Late Show host James Cordon casually mentioned the Emmys So White hashtag onstage as viewers at home took to social media to share their dismay.
While “diversity” seemed to be the buzzword of the night, shows like Atlanta and Black-ish were paid complete dust and not a single Black, Asian, or Hispanic nominee was awarded until about two hours into the program.
The night was not a total failure, though, with winners like RuPaul and Regina King breaking the curse, but the 10 million viewers at home were made to expect a much more monumental night, and 22 out of 26 overall awards going to white performers, directors, writers, and producers wasn’t exactly what was in mind.
The issue really brings to public attention that while it is awesome awareness is being spread and changes are being made, it’s no time to celebrate until those changes are put into action. Simply nominating and receiving praise for it isn’t enough.
This year’s show received the lowest ratings in NBC history, going down 11% since last year’s run. It can only be imagined that if the ceremony continues to deliver empty promises to its viewers, it might just continue to plummet.