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    Between The “WandaVision” Snubs And No POC Winning Any Acting Awards, The 2021 Emmys Kind Of Blew It

    “Michael K. Williams for me was like a massive letdown. It kind of reminded me of Chadwick losing at the Oscars.”

    On today's episode of BuzzFeed Daily, we broke down the top pop culture headlines AND discussed the biggest wins, snubs, and surprises of the 2021 Emmys. You can listen below or scroll down to read more about the interview!

    Listen on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts. You can also find BuzzFeed Daily wherever else you might listen to your favorite podcasts!

    So let's dive right into it! Recently we talked to BuzzFeed's Nora Dominick about this year's Emmys. Here's some of what we learned:

    BuzzFeed Daily: So, Nora, did you feel like this was the most "normal" award show yet? And also, is that a good thing?

    @emmys / GIPHY / Via giphy.com

    Nora Dominick: It definitely felt much more normal. Even [the cast of] The Crown all being together in London — that felt normal, even though they weren't in the room. That was really nice, them all together. It reminded me of when the Schitt's Creek cast was all together last year. 

    So, we had the red carpet, we had interviews there. You know, it did feel a little Golden Globe-y, with all of them sitting at tables together, too. It felt a little more relaxed than usual, which I kind of dug because award shows can get long and kind of boring. So it was kind of cool to, as a fan, see who is sitting at tables with each other. So yeah, it did feel "normal."

    BuzzFeed Daily: But downside to that, we were just talking about Seth Rogen's COVID joke. What was the reaction to that in the audience and online?

    @emmys / GIPHY / Via giphy.com

    ND: I think it was more of a "Ooh, he pointed it out." I feel like we all were like, "Well, in theory they're all vaccinated and they all got tested." But who's to say? One thing that was interesting last night was a lot of the backstage crew kept popping up awkwardly in the background just because of the setup of the stage. And you could see [the crew] were all wearing masks. It's like the normal people are wearing masks, but these celebrities were all hanging out [and] they get to just kind of do whatever they want. So, yeah, I think it was kind of like he pointed it out and we were all like, "Oh yeah, right."

    BuzzFeed Daily: It really seemed like we were in store for a more diverse show this year, you know, with Cedric the Entertainer hosting and nearly 50% of the acting nominations going to people of color. But in the end, all 12 lead and supporting acting categories were won by white people. So how are people feeling about that? I saw #EmmysSoWhite was trending. Have any of the nominees or winners commented on that?

    the Emmys is like that tv show you're still watching *just in case* it finally does something different but every year it proves you wrong and does its same old thing again. and again. and again. #EmmysSoWhite

    Twitter: @cashleelee

    ND: I don't think I've personally seen any of the nominees or winners commenting on it. I think it was a lot of "the Emmys are back to their usual stuff" kind of thing. Like you said, there are a lot of diverse nominations. And I think even when I was filling out my little Emmy ballot before, I had some of those people poised to win. Michael K. Williams for me was like a massive letdown. It kind of reminded me of Chadwick losing at the Oscars. That was a massive letdown for me because I loved Lovecraft Country. He's phenomenal. And I think that was one of the biggest like, "Okay, so we're really are going down the route of The Crown is winning every single thing."

    BuzzFeed Daily: It was awkward because [the Reservation Dogs cast's] speech was about showcasing diversity. And then [Television Academy president Frank Scherma] came out and even talked about having all of these diverse shows and how important it is to have shows that reflect the world that we're living in. And then immediately following that, it was, again, just another white person winning, then another white person winning. So it was just like, "How do they not see that?"

    Debbie Allen at the Emmys holding the Governor's Award
    Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

    ND: Yeah, and another thing with the Academy president coming out — it was the most uncomfortable thing for me to watch him do that spiel. You had Conan [O'Brien] doing whatever the hell he was in the audience and it was for Debbie Allen. Literally you stole this woman of color's massive moment. She was the first Black woman to win the Governor's Award. And it became a moment of, "Conan's making some joke in the audience." Everybody's laughing, not paying attention, and [the president] spieling on about how diversity at the Emmys and on TV has never been greater. So that was something that really stuck out to me, too.

    BuzzFeed Daily: One win I know all of us can wholeheartedly support is Michaela Coel's for writing I May Destroy You, which turned out to be one of the more emotional moments of the night. I got chills. There's so many layers to it. One that I do want to talk about is what a beautiful, intimate message it is, when a lot of them are just talking about the show. But no, she won the award for best writing and she chose to talk about writing. And I just thought that was so deep and personal because, like we know, this show came from extremely personal place for her.

    THIS right here! Your truth and your presence is a beacon, an elixir....@MichaelaCoel ❤❤❤🙌🏿🙌🏿🙌🏿 🎥@TheEmmys

    Twitter: @violadavis

    ND: Exactly. I think a lot of people were getting played off last night, and her speech proved you can do so much in literally 30 seconds, right? Like she had the absolute best speech of the night. And it happened in like the 20 seconds she was given. And it was just so perfect for her.

    BuzzFeed Daily: I know it's a sensitive subject for you this morning, but WandaVision took home nothing. Was Elizabeth Olsen robbed?

    Elizabeth Olsen in a white gown with long diamond earrings at the 2021 Emmys
    Rich Fury / Getty Images

    ND: I think Elizabeth Olsen is always robbed. She really should have won two years ago for Sorry for Your Loss. And that's the hill I'm willing to die on. 

    But that category was so stacked. Between Michaela Coel, Kate Winslet, Anya Taylor-Joy, Elizabeth Olsen, and Cynthia Erivo, you literally couldn't go wrong with who you picked. And I think it was down to the wire. Elizabeth could have done a surprise, I think. Anya was definitely poised to be the frontrunner earlier in the year and then Kate Winslet and ended up taking it. So it was just a super competitive category for that. 

    I think Paul Bettany and Kathryn Hahn were the biggest shocks for me, not getting those. I mean, WandaVision did win best song for "Agatha All Along." I guess I count that and that's important to me as well.

    BuzzFeed Daily: So are there any other snubs that were painful that we that we have to talk about? Or were those sort of the big ones?

    Michael K. Williams in Lovecraft Country
    HBO

    ND: I feel like those are the big ones. The one I was most shocked about was — again, it goes off the Paul Bettany snub — Ewan McGregor winning for Halston. I think that was a show no one really watched. That one really threw me. 

    But yeah, like I said, Michael K. Williams is a big one for me. I was really wanting Mj Rodriguez to kind of do a surprise win. I think that would have been great. Obviously I would have loved for WandaVision to win any of the acting ones. I think genre TV — Watchmen won a lot last year, obviously — but I think it's got so far to go and there's so many great performances and the "superhero" shows and the shows that are considered kind of niche and, you know, not prestige TV. So I would have loved to see something there. But obviously just for being the first Marvel Disney+ show and it being recognized in that way was huge.

    In other news, Amy Schumer recently shared what it’s been like living with endometriosis — and the lengths she’s gone to to treat it.

    As always, thanks for listening! And if you ever want to suggest stories or just want to say hi, you can reach us at daily@buzzfeed.com.

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