The Emmy Awards Touts Its Diversity While Shutting Out Latino TV Shows (Again)

Posted by on September 20, 2018

‘One Day at a Time’ Photo by Michael Yarish. Courtesy of Netflix

Here was a fun drinking game to have played at last night’s Emmy Awards: take a shot every time someone says the word “diversity.” By the first hour you’d already have been passed out, what with presenters and hosts alike bandying the word around to the point where it lost all meaning.

This year had, we kept being told, the most diverse slate of nominees in Emmy history. But, as the opening song performed by Kate McKinnon, Kenan Thompson, Tituss Burgess, Kristen Bell, Sterling K. Brown, with a cameo by Ricky Martin himself, pointed out, the issue of diversity has not yet been “solved.” In fact, Latino actors could’ve told you that going into the show.

The 70th Emmy Awards were, by all measures, more diverse (oy, there’s that word again) than in years past. Last weekend at the Creative Emmys, for example, all Guest Acting trophies had been claimed by black actors. Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh went into the night as the first Asian actress to be nominated in the Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Drama Series (she lost to The Crown’s Claire Foy), while a whopping three Latino actors were cited alongside one another in the Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (they all lost to Godless’ Jeff Daniels). This was progress, for sure. But as usual, Latino actors and TV shows were nowhere to be found amongst the winners.

In a pre-recorded bit that was surely the highlight of Colin Jost and Michael Che’s lackluster hosting duties last night, Che went around giving out “Reparations Emmys” to African-American performers that had been ignored by the Academy in the past 70 years. He showed up with trophies for Jaleel White (yes, Steve Urkel himself), The Jeffersons’ Marla Gibbs and Martin’s Tichina Arnold, among others. The message was hard to miss: we may have gotten far but there have always been clear biases in what the Television Academy nominates and deems worthy of an award. We may currently be seeing that firsthand when it comes to shows for, about, and by Latinos.


Emmys: ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’s Ryan Murphy On The Importance Of LGBTQ Narratives


Ryan Murphy was joined backstage at the Emmy Awards with the cast and crew of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, after the show collected three wins  Monday including Outstanding Limited Series.

Murphy expounded on the statements he made onstage during his impassioned acceptance speech. “The themes and issues that we talk about in the show are modern as ever, if not more so,” said Murphy, adding, “I’m always happy to make a political statement.”

“The statistic that I said, which was one in four LGBTQ Americans will be the victim of a hate crime, is true and heinous,” Murphy continued.


A leading advocate in inclusion in the industry, NALIP is providing more resources to aspiring filmmakers every year with events such as the NALIP Media Summit, the Latino Media Fest, and the Diverse Women in Media Forum, and events such as the Latino Lens Workshops and the Latino Lens Incubator Shorts.

Interested in joining the team? Email your resume and cover letter to [email protected] Want to become a member? Check out NALIP's different membership rates. Learn about NALIP's upcoming Latino Media Fest and volunteer opportunities fast approaching!