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And the Emmy goes to…

A graphic resembling the red carpet of the Emmy Award show with cameras flashing on the sides. The 2024 Emmy Awards showcases a slowly evolving change in the industry. IllUSTRATED BY ANGELINA LIVIGNI/THE STATESMAN

FOX aired the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards on Jan. 15, presenting awards in 26 different categories to critically acclaimed television shows such as “Succession,” which received 27 nominations, “The Last of Us” with 24 nominations and “The White Lotus” with 23 nominations.

For the first time, actor and comedian Anthony Anderson hosted the ceremony.  

The nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series were Ayo Edebiri from “The Bear,” Jessica Williams from “Shrinking,” Alex Borstein from “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Janelle James and Sheryl Lee Ralph from “Abbott Elementary” and Juno Temple and Hannah Waddingham from “Ted Lasso.” Edebiri won the Emmy, sparking some debate

Following Edebiri’s win, many took to social media wondering if “The Bear” was a comedy, acknowledging that while Edebiri deserves the accolade, the show’s win in this category was questionable. While “The Bear” — directed by Christopher Storer, winner of the Outstanding Directing and Writing in a Comedy Series category and featuring Jeremy Allen White, Emmy winner of Lead Actor in a Comedy Series — is classified as a comedy-drama by its producers, many fans disagree that the series truly fits the genre. Especially since “The Bear” secured the Emmy award when “Abbott Elementary,” “Barry,” “Jury Duty,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Only Murders in the Building,” “Ted Lasso” and “Wednesday” were nominated.

To that end, I don’t believe “Wednesday” is a comedy either, but rather a drama or horror, given that the plot surrounds a murder mystery and depicts gore. It seems I’m not alone in this perspective, judging by the hundreds of social media users who share similar sentiments

“Abbott Elementary” earned eight nominations, and among them, Quinta Brunson rightfully received the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, beating Christina Applegate from “Dead to Me,” Rachel Brosnahan from “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Natasha Lyonne from “Poker Face” and Jenna Ortega from “Wednesday.” Brunson’s win is historic, marking her as the first Black woman to win in this category since 1981 when Isabel Sanford won for her role in “The Jeffersons.” 

Nominations for HBO’s “Succession,” which aired its season finale last May, did not disappoint. The show had 27 nominations, winning six awards. The show explores the intricate dynamics of an affluent conglomerate family driven by power and agenda.

Matthew Macfadyen, who plays Tom Wambsgans, won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. The show also won in the Outstanding Directing and Writing for a Drama Series category; to no surprise, Kieran Culkin and Sarah Snook took home the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series awards, respectively. The Internet’s response to their wins was generally positive, with Instagram fans reposting the speeches and commenting on posts, expressing their gratitude and happiness for the first-time winners.

In addition, Lee Sung Jin’s comedy-drama miniseries “Beef,” starring Steven Yeun and Ali Wong, had 13 nominations. The show, inspired by an experience with road rage that Lee had, won eight Emmys across various categories, including directing, writing and the Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series. Both Yeun and Wong won lead actor and actress in that same category, respectively. History was made once again at the 75th Emmy Awards, with Wong being the first woman of Asian descent to win in her category. 

With Hollywood award shows historically white and male-dominated, this year’s Emmy Awards showcases a slowly evolving change in the industry. The nominations and triumphs of women of color in such prominent categories signify a shift, injecting much-needed diversity into the industry. Actresses of color have been sidelined and deprived of the recognition they deserve, so having two of these incredibly talented women win for their lead performances will pave the way for future inclusive wins. The celebration of women supporting women was also great to see. 

However, I was surprised that “The Last of Us,” featuring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, didn’t win many Emmys. The show tracked well on social media, and many fans of the original video game enjoyed it, as the show’s cast delivered strong performances that immersed the viewers. The show won awards mainly for its behind-the-scenes work, but Nick Offerman did win Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series and Storm Reid won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. While I’ll admit that Culkin deserved to win his award, I think Pascal deserves the same recognition.

This year’s Emmy Awards highlights the creativity in the television industry while providing more representation for actors and actresses of color. It continues the legacy of celebrating the works of many talented artists over the past year.

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