For the first time in the 68-year history of the Emmys, actors of color are nominated in all six leading actor categories for the 2016 awards.
This year's nominees include Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) for Lead Actor in a Drama; Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder) and Taraji P. Henson (Empire) for Lead Actress in a Drama; Anthony Anderson (Black-ish) and Aziz Ansari (Master of None) for Lead Actor in a Comedy; Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) for Lead Actress in a Comedy; Idris Elba (Luther), Cuba Gooding Jr. (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story), and Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) for Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie; and Audra McDonald (Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill) and Kerry Washington (Confirmation) for Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.
Ongoing conversations about diversity and representation in awards shows picked up steam this year when no actors of color were nominated for the 2016 Academy Awards, prompting a resurgence of the #OscarsSoWhite movement. More recently, the Tony Awards were praised for the diversity of their nominees; ultimately, all four acting awards went to black actors for the first time in the theater honors' history.
Aziz Ansari's nomination is groundbreaking in and of itself: He's the first South Asian actor nominated for a leading role on a TV series.
Louis Peitzman is a senior entertainment editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Peitzman writes about and reports on theater, film, and television. Contact this reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Louis Peitzman at email@example.com.
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