'Topple the Patriarchy!': Emmys Get Political

Talk of diversity, online harassment, and Trump infiltrated the awards
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2016 10:21 PM CDT
'Topple the Patriarchy!': Emmys Get Political
Jill Soloway accepts the award for outstanding directing for a comedy series for “Transparent” at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

It's not surprising that, in a tense election year, politics and other weighty topics made a prominent appearance at this year's awards, per the AP. How they were broached, with both seriousness and a touch of levity:

  • First, the explicit shout-outs to Election 2016: Jeb (with an exclamation point) Bush made a cameo in host Jimmy Kimmel's opening comedy segment as an Uber driver, SNL's Kate McKinnon thanked Hillary Clinton in her acceptance speech, and Kimmel blamed TV producer Mark Burnett for making Donald Trump a TV star. Meanwhile, Julia Louis-Dreyfus apologized for the current political climate.
  • The subject of diversity also emerged, starting with Kimmel's slam against the Oscars. "The Emmys are so diverse this year that the Oscars are now telling everyone we're one of their closest friends," he noted, per Glamour, snarkily adding, "We're not." Alan Yang, who won an Emmy for comedy series writing with Aziz Ansari, noted he hoped there would be more and better roles for Asian actors, per Vulture, while People notes that Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor, in his seventh consecutive Emmy win, made his own plea to the powers-that-be in the industry: "Please give transgender talent a chance."

  • Jill Soloway, for her part, combined diversity and politics. Soloway, who won the best director award for the comedy Transparent, talked about how directing is a "privilege" and how important it is to cast "women, people of color, trans people, [and] queer people," per EW.com. "Topple the patriarchy!" were her parting words. But it was her backstage comments that caught the attention of the Hollywood Reporter, which noted Soloway turned to the topic of Donald Trump and how she thinks he's "otherizing people" and is a "complete dangerous monster."
  • Leslie Jones spiced up what's usually the most boring moment of the awards show: the salute to Ernst & Young's accountants. "Since you good at keeping things safe, I got a job for you—my Twitter account," Jones told the company's trio of reps, per the AP, referring to the recent abuse and harassment she's dealt with online. "Put that in the vault, please."
Check out all of the night's winners. (More Emmy Awards stories.)

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