Beyoncé’s Emmy Snub For Homecoming Is About More Than Not Winning An Emmy

Photo: Courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment/Netflix.

We’re all seeing it: Beyoncé was snubbed by the Emmys. Homecoming, Beyoncé’s Netflix documentary about her history-making headlining Coachella performance, was nominated for six Creative Arts Emmys, in categories ranging from production to directing. In a moment of complete shock to anyone that saw Homecoming, she ended the night empty-handed.

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The sheer scale of Beyoncé’s performance and the documentary that captured it was enough to dub one of music’s most talked about festivals as “Beychella.” It gave an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the painstaking lengths Beyoncé went to as a performer to curate her Coachella set barely six months after giving birth to twins. According to the documentary, she spent more than 115 days preparing for the performance.

Homecoming received rave reviews from critics and fans who hailed it as one of the best concert films of all time, yet when it came to the Creative Arts Emmys, it lost in every category. Springsteen on Broadway won for Directing, RuPaul’s Drag Race won for Costumes, and Production Design went to the television production of Rent: Live. FX’s Fosse/Verdon won for Music Direction, Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette won for Writing, and the big one, Outstanding Variety Special, went to Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool.

No one spoke poorly of Carpool Karaoke, but fans were quick to point out that Homecoming is a documentary about the first Black woman to ever headline Coachella and that it deserved recognition for its historical significance as much as its artistry. 

“Whoever is responsible for this repeated burglary of Beyoncé, needs to be caught, reprimanded and taught what art is,” tweeted one jilted fan. Others pointed out that Homecoming documented a far more groundbreaking topic. She celebrated Black history and culture, subjects that award shows and larger institutions continue to overlook.

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Beyoncé has been snubbed in the past at award shows, notably for her 2016 album, Lemonade, which was nominated for nine Grammys and took home only two. Even Adele, who took home Album of the Year, was the first to admit that the award should have gone to Beyoncé. She was also passed over for Emmys in 2016 for Lemonade (for Outstanding Variety Special and for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special) and in 2013 for her Super Bowl Half-Time performance. Her current tally for nominations and wins with the Emmys is zero for six.

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