Opinion | Emmy winners 'The Crown' and 'Ted Lasso' are good — but not that good

The Emmy Awards say they're diverse, but the predictability of the winners — the same white shows and white actors — belies their claim.

9/21/2021 12:18:00 AM

Opinion | Ani Bundel: The Emmy Awards say they're diverse, but the predictability of the winners — the same white shows and white actors — belies their claim. - NBCNewsTHINK

The Emmy Awards say they're diverse, but the predictability of the winners — the same white shows and white actors — belies their claim.

As with “Ted Lasso,” the Emmys overdid it, and at the expense of far riskier and better fare. The redundant wins were also an unfortunate reminder the Emmys were still partially virtual, as “The Crown” nominees attended remotely from their pub back home. Though the new format put limited series at the very end, so their wins didn’t cap off the end of the night, it didn’t make the decision to hand them every award any less repetitive.

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It was hard not to notice the shows that lost out to “The Crown” were the ones the Emmys claimed made this year so diverse. “Lovecraft Country” was a fascinating experiment that mixed horror, race and fantasy together in new and interesting ways, but all its nominees lost out. Moreover, a win for its supporting actor nominee, the late Michael K. Williams, could have made for a major TV moment. Instead, Tobias Menzies took the award home for his turn as Prince Philip.

The biggest snub of the night was the passing over of MJ Rodriguez from “Pose.” As the first transgender actress to ever be nominated for lead actress, her inclusion in the category was historic. Seeing her rejected in favor of yet another award for “The Crown” felt like a slap. You could literally feel the air go out of the room as the cameras cut back yet again to the Brits drinking it up at 4 a.m. U.K. time. headtopics.com

The academy did honor Michaela Coel for her groundbreaking look at sexual assault in"I May Destroy You," but wins like hers (which came for writing) were few and far between. Amazon’s remarkable series “The Underground Railroad” was completely snubbed, and “Hamilton” only managed to snag one win. It was shocking watching, in categories where three or four of the six nominees were artists of color, “The Crown” or “Ted Lasso” win over and over and over.

The Emmy Awards may have given themselves a facelift, and nowclaim to be diverse, but the predictability of the awards, rewarding the same white shows and white actors every year, belies their stance. Until the Television Academy is willing to consider a wider range of top shows, and give awards to groundbreaking series, the changes are only surface deep. The show may have announced that, after last year’s Zoom session, the Emmys are “back, baby.” But the ratings will probably demonstrate that the audience didn’t rejoin them, for good reason.

Ani Bundel Read more: NBC News »

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THINK I don't think it behooves anyone to suggest that non-whites should win Emmys solely based on their skin color. THINK Yay! THINK PoseOnFX deserved more recognition. 💙 THINK Well..white shows are obviously better...

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