The 72nd annual Emmy Awards were last night (September 20) and it was a huge night for Black star power. A record number of Black creatives were awarded for their unique and outstanding performances on television.
The winners include Regina King, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (both of HBO's Watchmen), Uzo Aduba (FX on Hulu's Mrs. America) and Zendaya (HBO's Euphoria). Maya Rudolph won for the character voice-over in Netflix’s Big Mouth and for a guest appearance on Saturday Night Live where she hilariously portrayed Sen. Kamala Harris, a role we’re sure she will get to use more often now that Harris has been picked as Joe Biden’s running mate.
Laurence Fishburne and Jasmine Cephas Jones received Short-Form Acting Emmys for Quibi's #FreeRayshawn. Jones’ father, Ron Cephas Jones, won in the Guest Drama Actor category for This Is Us. It’s the first time a father and daughter acting pair has ever won Emmys during the same year. The iconic RuPaul won his fifth consecutive Emmy for Best Reality Host.
Additionally, two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali and his wife Amatus Karim Ali were executive producers on We Are The Dream: The Kids Of The Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest (HBO) and won for Outstanding Children’s Program.
Dave Chappelle won for Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special for Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones (Netflix), which also nabbed a 2020 Creative Arts Emmy for outstanding variety special.
Comedy legend Eddie Murphy also won his first Emmy ever (hard to believe after all those formative years on Saturday Night Live) for returning to SNL as a host. The 59-year-old said in his speech, “This is 40 years since I started ‘Saturday Night Live.’ This is my first Emmy, so thank you so much. This is a very, very special thing for me, to come back and have the show turn out the way it did. I’m still floating from it.”
The Emmys also honored Tyler Perry with the 2020 Governors Award in recognition not only for his career achievements but also for the doors he helped to open in the entertainment industry for people of color.