Diversity In 2016 Emmy Nominations- Surprises And Snubs

Emmy Awards
Emmy Awards

Yesterday’s announcing of the 2016 Primetime Emmy nominations is quite an event. Several series earned many acting and technical nods. Twenty-one non-white actors received acting nominations, which is quite impressive. Critics are calling it a reaction to the 2016 Academy Awards, because that event was called the “White Oscars” for a lack of diversity. There’s no doubt this will lead to an interesting 66th Emmy Awards ceremony.

The People vs OJ
Ryan Murphy’s series receives 22 Emmy noms- 13 of those in Primetime

Diversity is the new trend

American Crime Story‘s The People v. O.J. Simpson leads with 13 Primetime nominations. Sterling K. Brown, Cuba Gooding Jr., David Schwimmer, John Travolta, and Courtney B. Vance each got acting nominations for their roles. Gooding Jr.’s riveting performance as O.J Simpson has drawn critical acclaim, and it is being seen as a comeback for the Jerry Maguire actor. Previously, he won the Academy Award for his role as football player Rod Tidwell. Talk about life coming full circle.

Veep got eleven nominations for its fourth season. Cast members Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky and Tony Hale received acting nods for their work on the HBO series.

Game of Thrones Season 7

Rise of the Women

HBO’s Game of Thrones comes in third with a total of 9 nominations in the Primetime categories. Both Kit Harington and Peter Dinklage are supporting actor nominees. On the female side of things, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey and Maise Williams have supporting actress nominations. Sadly, Sophie Turner was not among the nominees, prompting author George R.R. Martin to voice his displeasure at the young actress being snubbed.


FX’s Fargo has 8 nominations, predominantly for its cast. Actresses Kirsten Dunst and Jean Smart earned acting nods for their roles. Jesse Plemons got a nomination for his work as Ed the Butcher, while Bokeem Woodbine scores his first nod for playing Mike Milligan.

Even More Diversity

Black-ish has done well with with its second season, and it has recently been renewed for a third. The hit ABC sitcom earned four Emmy nominations- including Best Comedy Series and Best Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. Series star Anthony Anderson got his second Outstanding Lead Actor nomination. Meanwhile, Tracee Ellis Ross receives her first Lead Actress nod.

In all, HBO nabbed 35 nominations, FX scored 28, Netflix got 28, and ABC got 9. Comedy Central, NBC and Showtime each racked up 8, while Amazon Studios got six.

Still No Love For Comic Book Shows

Marvel’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones were both snubbed by the Emmys. Despite having critical acclaim, the Marvel adaptations did not receive any nominations in the acting, writing or technical categories. It would appear the Emmys are less than enthusiastic about programming based on comic books. Luckily, Netflix left far from empty-handed with 14 nominations, mostly from House of Cards.

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards Ceremony will air on September 18th, 2016.

Jonathan Bruce
Jonathan Bruce
I am an English teacher by day and a freelance writer at night. Specialities include news, reviews, opinion and commentary articles. When I'm not teaching, I participate in theatre, building sets and working stage crew as a hobby. I also enjoy reading and having an occasional glass of Scotch.