The Oscars may have had a diversity problem the last number of years, but the 2017 Emmys sought to rectify that as this year’s made history with the most diverse list of nominees ever. Master Of None’s Lena Waithe became the first black woman ever to win an award for comedy writing, while Riz Ahmed became the first male actor of Asian descent to win an acting Emmy. There’s still a long way to go, but these initial steps are promising.
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) September 18, 2017
Never before have the offerings on the small screen been as revered as they are now, with content intended to challenge the audience and bring artistry to another level. And in terms of winners, two different series about the ways in which societies can oppress and constrict women won multiple awards. TV favourites The Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies – and their incredible ensemble cast of women – took home the biggest awards of the night. The Handmaid’s Tale won best drama series, with its star Elisabeth Moss also taking home an award for lead drama actress while Big Little Lies took a number of awards: Laura Dern managed her first win at the Emmys (!) for outstanding supporting actress, Nicole Kidman in best actress in a limited series or movie, while the series won for overall Outstanding Limited Series.
Kidman used her acceptance speech to make a powerful statement on domestic violence as a result of her portrayal of Celeste, a successful and vibrant woman whose seemingly perfect life belies the domestic abuse she suffers at the hands of her husband. “Sometimes when you’re acting, you get a chance to bring a bigger message,” Kidman said this evening. “We shone a light on domestic abuse. It is a complicated, insidious disease, and it exists far more than we allow ourselves to know. It is filled with shame and secrecy, and by you acknowledging me with this award, it shines a light on it even more.”
— Glamour (@glamourmag) September 18, 2017
The series stars also issued a plea to see more women’s lives accurately depicted on screen.
“Bring women to the front of their own stories,” Witherspoon said while accepting the award for Outstanding Limited Series for Big Little Lies. “Make them the heroes of their own stories.” Kidman added, “This is a friendship that then created opportunities out of our frustration because we weren’t getting offered great roles. So now, more great roles for women, please.”
And the triumphs for women and diversity kept on coming: A woman, Reed Morano, was declared the best director of a dramatic series. And after he won for his work on The Night Of Riz Ahmed spoke about the drama’s focus on the deeply rooted problems of the criminal justice system and Islamophobia.
Another highlight involved 9 To 5 stars Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin on stage together, and commenting that in 2017, they still would not be controlled “by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.”
— Dr Henry MD (@DrHenryMD) September 18, 2017
And while you take all that in, have a look at the best red carpet moments in our gallery above and see the full list of winners HERE