The nominations for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards reflect a sizable jump in the number of people of color in the top categories: 38 at TV Guide’s last count. That’s not only more than double the number last year, but it also qualifies as the most nominations ever as it tops those from 2016, when 21 people of color were nominated across drama, comedy, movie/limited and guest categories. Good job, Emmy voters!
But let’s not celebrate too much: there’s still a lot of work to do. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Asian-Americans make up about 5.6 percent of the population, and they’re also the fastest growing group, which makes it a travesty that Sandra Oh, who is actually Canadian, is the first and only person of Asian descent to have been nominated for lead actress in a drama.
Meanwhile, six actors of Latin descent, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ricky Martin and Edgar Ramirez, received nominated this year, a paltry sum considering the hundreds of shows in the running and that most all said performers were concentrated in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. As UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity Report points out, minorities are still consistently underrepresented on screen in a way that doesn’t reflect the actual makeup of the country and fails to catch up to viewers’ overall watching habits, which regularly prove that everyone — white, brown, black, everyone — tends to gravitate toward shows with diverse casts.
But this year’s nominations prove that progress is being made, even if some of the same names and faces are in the running. People of color are spread evenly across categories as opposed to being concentrated in just comedy or reality; almost every category has a person of color eligible to win an Emmy and some had more than one. Check out the full list below and last year’s list of PoC in main categories here.
People of color nominated for Emmys in major categories in 2018:
W. Kamau Bell, United Shades of America: With W. Kamau Bell