Donald Glover, Riz Ahmed, Sterling K. Brown and Lena Waithe were among those who were anointed a number of Hollywood’s “firsts” during the awards ceremony: first black person to win for comedy-series directing, first Muslim and south Asian man to win an acting award, first black actor since 1998 to win Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing, respectively.
But the omnipotent TV writer, producer and showrunner said that despite her excitement for her colleagues, the self-congratulatory tone of the coverage post-show has been off-putting.
“It’s embarrassing, frankly,” she said. “To me, it feels embarrassing that we are still in a place in which we still have to note these moments. … I’m hoping that it’s not a trend. I’m hoping that people don’t feel satisfied because they saw a lot of people win, and then think that we’re done.”
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Rhimes was nominated three times for Sunday’s Emmys for her longrunning series Grey’s Anatomy, but walked away empty-handed. She has long been a champion for diversity in television, with shows like Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder breaking barriers for her actors, including Viola Davis, who won for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series two years ago, making her the first black woman to do so.
During their acceptance speeches, Glover, Ahmed, Brown and Waithe all acknowledged the bigger implications of their win, with Glover jokingly thanking Trump “for making black people Number One on the most-oppressed list. He’s probably the reason I’m up here.”