Do We Need A "Black Emmy" Awards Show?
7 months ago
More blacks on television deserve recognition.
In the Emmy Awards' 63-year history, how many African Americans have won awards?
The optimist in you probably picked the highest number, which is actually the correct answer. But some number crunching will show you that in the case of black representation at the Emmys, more is still less: 35 black actors and actresses taking home Emmy Awards in 63 years equates blacks representing just 5 percent of winners in the ceremony's storied history.
The 2012 Emmy Awards presentation contributed to that tradition with zero black actors or actress winning the coveted statue. You didn't even need a whole hand to count how many blacks were nominated in major categories this year. Idris Elba was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Mini-series or Movie for his role as John Luther on BBC America’s "Luther." Don Cheadle was nominated for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in Showtime's "House of Lies." Giancarlo Esposito received a nomination for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role on AMC's "Breaking Bad." Maya Rudolph was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy series for her hosting gig on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." Rudolph, the only black woman to be nominated in any major category this year, was also the first black woman to ever be nominated in the category for which she received the nod.
So that's four black people in the entire nomination pool for 2012. No Kerry Washington for ABC's "Scandal," or Taraji P. Henson for CBS' "Person Of Interest." No Regina King for TNT's "Southland."
The paltry number of black Emmy winners also means that over the last 63 years some of black people's most beloved television characters never took home a trophy either. No Florida or James Evans. No Cliff or Clair Huxtable. No Dwayne Wayne and Whitley Gilbert. None of them.
With numbers that small, you'd think that either black people weren't on television, or that they aren't watching much of it.