Whether or not you love award shows (cue the popcorn and the leopard-print snuggie) or think they are the bane of all that is holy and good (or at the very least, should not cost $30 million)– there are some radical things that happened during last Sunday night’s Emmy Awards that are worth paying attention to. Not only were the nominees more diverse than ever before, but hot-button political issues (like systemic racism, the upcoming presidential election, the gender wage gap) were impressively woven into the fabric of discussion. Here are the 5 things you need to know about from Sunday night’s Emmy Awards, (especially if watching powerful women win awards and crack timely jokes makes you all kinds of happy):
- Viola Davis won an Emmy for Best Female Lead In A Drama, and quoted Harriet Tubman in her beautiful acceptance speech.
Viola Davis (of How To Get Away With Murder), was the first Black woman to win an Emmy for Leading Actress in a Drama. And she made it count, by using her 90 seconds of speech time to thank all of the writers and producers who have created roles for women of color. As she said, after aptly quoting Harriet Tubman, “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So here’s to all the writers… people who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black.”
2. #SmartGirlsAsk showcased that it’s okay to ask women real questions on the red carpet
Following on the heels of #AskHerMore, Amy Poehler infused the evening’s red carpet babble with some poignantly asked questions for the females in attendance. Followers of #SmartGirlsAsk tweeted in questions that asked actresses about more than what they were wearing– giving them space to discuss their inspirations, hardships, and acting triumphs.
3. Amy Schumer’s hilarious guerilla #emmyprep Instagram was the perfect segue to her Emmy win for Best Variety Sketch Series.
4. Jill Soloway, the only female nominated in the Best Directing for a Comedy Series category, won for her Amazon show Transparent.
Given the gender disparity in the realm of film directors (out of last year’s 100 Hollywood box office hits, only 2 films had female directors), this is an exciting moment of recognition and celebration. But, rather than take the spotlight for herself, Soloway focused her speech on the subject matter of her show: trans lives. Watch below as she boldly declares our nation to be in the midst of a “trans civil rights problem” and dedicates her Emmy to her trans “moppa”. Keep up the momentum by choosing to support The Trevor Project when you Goodshop.
5. Amy Poehler shrugged off being overlooked for her (17th) Emmy…and has become a viral internet GIF that will be the literal embodiment of DGAF forever more.