By Tanner Kinney
The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board.
Another year, another terrible awards show. The Emmys have a long standing history and this year is celebrating the diversity of their nominees and hosts. Unfortunately, that’s the only diversity the 70th primetime Emmys can celebrate. Despite their numerous hosts celebrating the “evolution of TV” and the “diversity of TV”, the primetime show is still too terrified to give an award to someone who might scare the mildly racist elderly people. Like really? Donald Glover loses so many awards despite being nominated for so many? And to shows that are objectively worse in quality? That sounds like a scandal waiting to happen.
Sure, you can see that more women are winning awards on primetime TV, but we’re still missing color. Even the hosts are making jokes about how white the Emmys are. When you have James Corden even making jokes about it, you’ve achieved something truly terrible. And just so we’re clear, making jokes about it doesn’t make it go away. Just Googling “Emmys 2018 winners” and scrolling that bar to the right reveals 50 shades of white. Maybe they are more deserving though? That’s a fair argument to make, so let’s look at some of the nominations.
The first example comes from “outstanding lead actor in a comedy series.” You have people like Anthony Anderson from black-ish and Donald Glover from Atlanta. Who wins? Bill Hader, you know, the guy from Trainwreck, that Amy Schumer comedy? What about lead comedy actress? Rachel Brosnahan, another white woman from an admittedly pretty good show. Alright, so how about “lead actor from a limited TV show or series”? John Legend as actual Jesus Christ? Nope, give it to Darren Chris, which makes my 12-year-old self very happy but horribly disappoints my 20-year-old self. Sure, you can point out that they gave an Emmy to Regina King and Thandie Newton, but that’s the only two out of so many other Emmys given out on the live show. And if you really want to talk about robbed, just look at Anthony Anderson’s reaction to when his show lost best comedy to a show that had already been sweeping tons of other awards.
The only real justice in this show is RuPaul winning an award for best reality show competition, and even that was ruined by the award being presented by Rick and Morty. Does NBC even have a high enough IQ to comprehend Rick and Morty? Because, to be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand what in the world NBC was thinking with this show.
This trend here completely contrasts with how the Emmy’s projects their image. The hosts are all talking about how “progressive” the industry is, making left-leaning comments and bashing modern politics. They literally had a segment giving “reparation Emmys,” complete with bad jokes and actual real fake hip-hop music, which may be possibly the most poorly thought out thing NBC has done yet. The joke was that they were giving awards to black people who got robbed because “awards shows used to be so bigoted.” Get it? The industry was so racist giving awards to only white people! Good thing we’ve moved past that, giving awards to only a majority of white people.
The segment was not only painful, but horribly hypocritical and almost as tone-deaf as CBS’s The Neighborhood. It’s clear that the Emmys are just acting progressive for brownie points, despite the fact that they are still an Academy run by, and ultimately for, white people.
If you need another sign about how terrible this Emmy awards show was, they gave an Emmy to THE OSCARS! I didn’t even know that was a thing that was possible! That’s like if I reviewed my features and gave myself an award for them. It’s legitimately the most embarrassing thing I’ve seen in a long time. All I’m saying is: Glenn Weiss? More like Glenn White. Yeah, I get it, that joke wasn’t funny. Just like this joke of an award show.
The strangest thing? If you look online, you’ll see that that there are so many people-of-color winning awards. Awards offline, not on TV. Why is that NBC? What makes you so afraid of giving an award to a black person on live television? What demographic are you really targeting? You speak out about how progressive television is, nominate so many incredible black actors and actresses, and you give awards to people like Bill Hader? Henry Winkler, the freaking Fonz won an award, and he hasn’t done actual TV since he starting peddling life insurance to old people watching The Price is Right. That’s a sign right there that the Emmy’s have jumped the shark.
I think the answer to why the Emmys are doing this is obvious. Who is actually watching TV right now? Live, real television? Grandma. That’s who, and I’m not talking the sweet old Grandma who bakes you cookies; I’m talking your other Grandma. The Grandma you can’t invite to family outings ever since cousin Gary married that sweet black lady who works at Target. She can’t actually hear what’s being said on the TV, but she can see. She sees a person-of-color win an award, starts mailing letters to NBC full of complaints and comments that would make a 4Chaner blush– Now, I’m not saying that NBC is catering to bigots. What I am saying is that there’s gotta be a reason somewhere. And if Letitia Wright’s reaction to getting robbed for her award is any indication, it’s the worst reason possible.
Now, when the Oscars roll around and they give a majority of awards to white people, are we gonna get angry again? Why do we have to keep getting angry? It’s clear the industry is leaning towards a private position that is nearly opposite to its public position. You can only claim “deserving contenders” for so long before people start to question what you consider a “deserving” trait. And when the Oscars are so white? I’ll be back here again, picketing with everyone else for more real diversity in this industry.
Featured Image from NBC
Tanner is a Film and Media Studies major and a Digital Media minor. His Neo Yokio review won a second-place CSPA Golden Circle award for the 2017 semester. He enjoys playing JRPG’s of any variety, regardless of how obscure and strange it is. Tanner is also the host of Byte at the Movies, the premiere movie discussion live-stream.