71st Emmy Award winners make history

September 26, 2019

Jharrel Jerome

The 71st Emmy Awards was all about looking towards the future this year. The Sunday, September 29, 2019 awards show, took a page from the Oscars playbook and decided to go sans a host. This year also marked the most nominations and wins for streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime. Another way the Emmys looked forward was in the number of nominations for women and people of color, some of which made history with their wins.

Among those who took home awards that were history makers was actor Billy Porter, who took home the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role as ballroom emcee Pray Tell on the FX series “Pose.” The win made him the first openly gay black man to receive the honor in the category.

Billy Porter

Actor Jharrel Jerome made history Sunday night with his Emmy win for playing Korey Wise in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix show “When They See Us.”

Jerome received the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his work playing one of the “Exonerated Five,” a group of Black and Latino teenagers who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman jogging in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. With his win, the 21-year-old became the first Afro-Latino to win an acting Emmy. Making the win even more special was the fact that Wise and the four other men of the Exonerated Five, were on hand to see the win. Series director, Ava DuVernay, brought all five members of group of men to the event on Sunday.

Rupaul Charles along with cast and series producers celebrate their win on stage

Drag icon Rupaul Charles marked his sixth win for Outstanding Reality Competition Series for his ten years of work on Rupaul’s Drag Race. This coincides with his earlier win for Outstanding Host for A Reality Competition Series.

Though the Emmys have done better in recognizing more diverse actors; many noted in speeches and interviews that Hollywood has much more work to do in providing opportunities and overcoming pay disparities for minorities.


Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, director Ava DuVernay, Korey Wise and Yusef Salaam arrive for the 71st Emmy Awards