History has just been made, thanks to the excellence of Black performers in Hollywood. The four Emmys guest actors category has been swept by Black actors, reports Variety. A new standard has been set; let’s take a look at the winners, many of whose names are already legendary.
Tiffany Haddish won an Emmy, which is sure to be the first of many, for guest hosting Saturday Night Live in November 2017. She snagged the award for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy. You may recall how, in her monologue, she cracked us all up by nothing that President Donald Trump’s hair weaves don’t move in the wind, and by insisting that she was going to wear her white Alexander McQueen dress “multiple times” in order to get her money’s worth. This is Haddish’s first nomination and win.
Next up, Samira Wiley won her first Emmy for Best Guest Actress in a Drama for The Handmaid’s Tale. In the show, she plays Moira, a powerful, fighting character who manages to escape her Gilead captors and join the Canadian refugee resistance. Wiley was up against two of her Handmaid’s Tale co-stars: Kelly Jenrette, who plays Annie, Luke’s ex-wife; and Cherry Jones, who plays Holly, June’s mother. Wiley also beat out fellow legends Viola Davis, Diana Rigg, and Cicely Tyson, firmly cementing herself as one TV’s premier talents.
Ron Cephas Jones won for Best Guest Actor in a Drama, for portraying William Hill, Randall’s biological father on This Is Us. No surprise there: his gentle, nuanced portrayal of William was revived in season 2’s flashbacks after his character’s death in season 1. He’s the second actor to win this award in as many years from This Us Is; last year, Gerald McRaney won for playing Dr. K, and was a fellow nominee against Jones this year. In Jones’ company was Cameron Britton, Matthew Goode, and Jimmi Simpson.
Atlana’s Katt Williams scored his first nomination and Emmy win for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy. Williams plays Uncle Willy in the FX show, and he was up against some particularly exceptional talent — Bryan Cranston, Bill Hader, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Sterling K. Brown — making his win all the more notable and impressive.
Truth be told, the big and small screens have always been filled with outstanding Black talent, but they are finally receiving the recognition they deserve. We’re eager to see the Oscars and the Golden Globes shine a light on diverse talent as well; they could learn a thing or two from the Emmys. Great talent is everywhere, and diversity in storytelling deserves to be celebrated.
The Primetime Emmys will air next week.