The 2013 Emmy Awards Embodied TV’s White Problem
Last night’s Primetime Emmy Awards taught me two things: that I really need to start watching Homeland and that TV is just REALLY white. Well, no it only taught me one thing because I already knew of TV’s white problem. But at the 2013 Emmys, it jumped off the TV screen and slapped me in the face like never before.
I think it’s because I’m already in my feelings over the whole Saturday Night Live thing.
What Saturday Night Live thing? Well I’m glad you didn’t ask. I will tell you. They just hired six new castmembers and they’re 5 white guys and 1 white girl. That’s cool if their cast wasn’t already largely monochromatic, with the exception of Kenan Thompson. He’s there in case they need a skit with someone of color, regardless of gender. Because what the world needs now is more moderately funny Black dudes dressing in drag to play Black women as if we’ve become some endangered species. (-___-)
In SNL’s 38-year history, only 15 of their fulltime folks have been Black, and only 4 have been Black women. Lorne Michaels and his team are lazy as hell for this and it’s ridiculous. But really, they’re just another piece in a white ass puzzle we call Hollywood.
Back to the Emmys though. Neil Patrick Harris was adorable and a suitable host. However, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler should host EVERYTHING! The only time I laughed was when they were onstage or talking.
Again: LET AMY AND TINA HOST EVERYTHING. Thank you. Also, Jon Hamm CGI. All of it. Whenever wherever whatever. Amen.
Kerry Washington didn’t win “Best Actress in a Drama” for her role as Olivia Pope, though. And I REALLY wanted her to win because I’m a Gladiator and I love her and she’s my cousin (sharrap and lemme live). So that already made me mad. But I ain’t gon rain on Claire Danes’ parade because I heard Homeland was awesome and I’ve been meaning to catch it. BUT… I really wish Kerry woulda won. I wanted her to make history as the first Black actress to win “Best Lead in a Drama.” But yeah… YOU’RE STILL MY WINNER, ADEKERRY OLUWASHINGTON!!!
Besides that, IT WAS JUST A REALLY WHITE SHOW!!! LAWDT! It’s really just a bunch of white folks giving each other awards, with a sprinkling of Black folks and Mindy Kaling. Oh and there’s Sofia Vergara, who I wish would stop playing the Ghost of Quincenara Present. But get them checks, girl!
The lack of color at the Emmys is what I expected but it doesn’t mean it’s not irritating. Every year, we watch it happen and we wonder if the next year will be different. Maybe, maybe not.
It is 2013. The fact that we still have to play “Spot the person of color” at major award shows makes me hella sad. We still need to ask others if any black or brown people won awards and the answer is “nah. Maybe off screen.” THAT grinds my gears still.
Even Natalie Maines of The Dixie Chicks noticed it and captured it in this picture:
Well hello white people! pic.twitter.com/DtFJWNytDv
— Natalie Maines (@1NatalieMaines) September 23, 2013
SHEESH. She ain’t lying.
There’s always 2014. The Emmys will probably continue to look like a Convention of People Without Melanin. And it’s tired. It’s too white. It’s too bore. It won’t fit. It got a big budget. Just a big budget.
And before folks retort with “well why do Black people need validation from these people?” I need them to know that wanting to be included isn’t necessarily synonymous with needing validation. Asking that we aren’t ignored in a show that is supposed to acknowledge our contributions to entertainment is just asking for a seat at the table. A SEAT WE DESERVE. You CANNOT represent popular culture if you ignore Black folks and other people of color.
Ugh. Whatever. <—- things salty people say.
But YAYYYYY for Breaking Bad winning “Best Drama” though! They got ONE thing right. Hmph.
So did y’all watch the Emmy Awards? Whatchu think?