While some question the autonomy of awards shows since the explosion of public opinion taking the reins, guided by social media, there’s still a sense of awe we feel when seeing those in the arts earned traditional acclaimed titles.
And the 2022 Emmys, which took place on Monday 12 September, were no different in our awe-ushering.
The 74th annual run of the awards sits alongside words like historic for a few reasons, and many feel the same sentiment after hearing who won what – “it’s about damn time!” as one of our award winners, Lizzo, would say.
There’s no doubt that it was a good year for TV. With new creativity born in the pandemic, we were given shows like Squid Game, Only Murders in the building, MAID, Ted Lasso and The White Lotus. We also got a lot of new energy (and plotlines) injected into some of our favourites, like Stranger Things, Succession and Better Caul Saul.
They say not everyone (or every show) can be a winner, but with this all-star catalogue, many of the shows have and will continue to enjoy stardom even without the trophies.
However, for those that did take home Emmys, the choices weren’t only fitting, but long-overdue. Women who have usually been snubbed in the awards finally got their moments, and black women in Hollywood are relishing in theirs.
Zendaya made history by becoming the first black woman to win two Lead Actress Emmys in a Drama, adding to her Emmy from 2020 for her role as Rue in Euphoria.
Sheryl Lee Ralph took home the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for her role in Abbot Elementary as Barbara Howard. Lee Ralph has been in the business since the 70s, so this moment wasn’t just an ode to her award, but a nod to a decades-long career.
Quinta Brunson bagged the comedy series writing Emmy for Abbot Elementary, a nod to both female writers and black female writers in the industry and Lizzo took home her first Emmy for Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.
A shoutout must be directed to Lee Jung-Jae who starred in Squid Game and became the first Asian actor to win a drama lead Emmy.
Amanda Seyfried finally won her first Emmy for Lead Actress in a Limited Series for The Dropout and Jennifer Coolidge joined Seyfriend in the first-Emmy welcome part for her performance in The White Lotus.
This is the Emmy Awards we’ve been waiting for. And, Sheryl Lee Ralph’s killer acceptance speech summed it up perfectly.
“To anyone who has ever, ever had a dream and thought your dream wasn’t, wouldn’t couldn’t come true, I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like, this is what striving looks like, and don’t you ever, ever give up on you.”