UB says diversity is the real winner at the Emmys

Students react to TV’s biggest night


Jimmy Kimmel opened the 68th annual Emmy Awards with a skit featuring himself on the run from police in O.J. Simpson’s white Ford Bronco.

He was trying to reach the Emmys before they began and eventually hitched a ride on Daenerys Targaryen’s dragon.

“If your show doesn’t have a white Bronco or a dragon in it, go home now,” Kimmel said at the start of the ceremony.

He was hardly exaggerating.

“Game of Thrones” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson” dominated each award category, with nine and 13 nominations, respectively.

The heat in Los Angeles couldn’t match the passion of the award winners on Sunday night. Through tears and triumph, the winners delivered unforgettable lines. Love and diversity were the predominant themes in their acceptance speeches.

Politics had a huge impact on the ceremony as well, as Kimmel and several others used the show as a platform to promote acceptance, urge people to vote or simply make jokes about the current political climate.

In light of the upcoming election, he remarked that the boundaries between real life and television have become less clear.

“We’re living in a reality TV show,” Kimmel said.

With the most diverse group of nominees in Emmy history, the awards ceremony celebrated the variety of its contestants.

Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang won the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for an episode on Ansari’s show “Master of None.” In his acceptance speech, Yang said that one of his biggest goals is to create more films in which Asian Americans are represented.

Shortly after Yang’s speech, Jill Soloway echoed the same sentiments of giving opportunity to minority communities. After winning the category of Comedy Series Directing for her show “Transparent,” Soloway gave some impassioned words about privilege.

“Being a good person is hard,” Soloway said. “Being a director is so easy. I get to make my dreams come true. It’s a privilege. It also creates privilege when you take women of color and trans people and put them at the center instead of just objects. It changes the world.”

Christian Pierce, a senior economics and political science double major, said that it’s about time that a big awards show celebrates real diversity. Compared to other shows throughout history like the Grammys, the Emmys seem to have stepped it up in having a more diverse list of nominees.

“I think it’s important to include people of all races and genders,” Pierce said. “It really shouldn’t matter what race, gender or sexual orientation people are. It’s great that bigger shows like the Emmys are doing that now.”

Stars Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke didn’t take away awards for themselves, but HBO series “Game of Thrones” won a total of twelve awards this year. It now holds the record for most Emmys for a fictional TV show ever, surpassing “Frasier.”

Daniel Schwartz, a sophomore communication major, said that the show is certainly as good as all its awards imply.

“‘Game of Thrones’ is one of the best shows I’ve seen since ‘Breaking Bad,’” Schwartz said. “It’s phenomenal and it definitely deserved to win.”

“Game of Thrones” won Best Drama Series, Best Writing for a Drama Series and Casting for a Drama Series, to name a few. The series competed with several popular shows such as “Downton Abbey” and “House of Cards.

Julia Louis Dreyfus, star of hit show “Veep,” took home an award for outstanding lead actress. She mentioned the current political climate and said, “I think that ‘Veep’ has torn down the wall between comedy and politics. Our show started out as political satire, but in now feels more like a sobering documentary.”

In an emotional moment, Dreyfus also paid tribute to her father, William Louis Dreyfus, who passed away on Friday.

Rami Malek, the star of new show “Mr. Robot” took home his first Emmy on Sunday night for Best Dramatic Actor. In his speech he aimed to inspire.

“I play a young man who, like so many of us, is profoundly alienated,” Malek said.

He urged people to embrace their inner strangeness and use it to their advantage.

William Stott, a sophomore computer engineering major, was elated that a show as deeply personal and brutal as “Mr. Robot” came through with an award.

“I’m super pumped that one of my favorite new shows won,” Stott said. “Rami Malek is an incredible actor. This is definitely a grimier show, not as made-for-television compared to other ones. I’m so glad a show like this was recognized.”

An ode to several influential figures who passed away in the past year capped off the night. There were tributes to Garry Marshall, Alan Rickman and several other people who have had huge impacts on the entertainment industry.

The Emmys didn’t drag on, nor did it wallow in the past. The show and its winners recognized the accomplishments made by those before them, yet embraced the ideals they believed should be part of a better future.

Andrew Safe is a staff writer and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com