'Black-ish' actress wears Nike shirt to Emmys

Actress Jenifer Lewis showed support to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick by wearing a Nike shirt to the Emmy Awards.

Posted: Sep 19, 2018 1:03 PM
Updated: Sep 19, 2018 1:26 PM

Monday night's Primetime Emmys were the first since the Harvey Weinstein expose broke last fall. It was the first of the post-#MeToo period.

Given that the Television Academy received some flak for choosing two men to host the show -- "Saturday Night Live"'s Colin Jost and Michael Che -- I was curious to see how the ongoing reckoning with the abuse of powerful men (and a few women) would be handled.

The situation was made worse by Che's tone-deaf reaction to Louis C.K.'s return to stand-up comedy last month, when he suggested that C.K. had suffered long enough and should be allowed to return to his profession and earn money.

Che clearly never gave a thought to the suffering of C.K.'s female victims, or even how audience members might feel (some of whom may have been victims) when C.K. appeared unannounced to do a standup set and proceeded to make a rape joke.

There seems to have been an effort made by the producers of the Emmys not to have an overabundance of Jost and Che during the show, and instead to rely on their former "SNL" colleagues, Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen, for backup.

This was most obvious during the opening number, performed not by Jost and Che, but instead by a diverse ensemble of actors who were decidedly not white men, including Kate McKinnon, Kenan Thompson, Kristen Bell, Tituss Burgess, Sterling K. Brown and Ricky Martin.

This number set the tone for the show, which seemed to want to simultaneously proclaim the Emmys' expanded diversity -- this year featured the most diverse group of Emmy nominees ever -- and satirize the notion that true diversity had been achieved and that its historical racial exclusion had been solved.

It also offered one of the few #MeToo references of the show, alluding to the ways that abusive men have not been held truly accountable— "Now they're serving hard time in that Arizona spa. ...They've been away nine whole months, now let them all come back."

Much later in the show, Australian comic Hannah Gadsby (whose Netflix standup show "Nanette" made major waves this summer in terms of the #MeToo reckoning) wryly joked that she got the gig "just cuz I don't like men" and "#NotAllMen, but a lot of 'em."

In addition to arguably stealing the show, Gadsby's bit was particularly interesting to consider in light of what appears to be Che's dismissal of "Nanette" when it dropped on Netflix. Beyond these isolated instances, I also found it notable that not one of the winners, male or female, mentioned or even alluded to #MeToo or #TimesUp in their speeches.

Instead, there was a much larger focus on the broader issue of diversity and inclusion within both the creation and production of television and its reception and recognition.

Thus, in addition to the opening number satirizing Hollywood's self-congratulatory attitude with regards to diversity, Che embarked on a "Reparations Emmys" tour of black comic TV legends from past decades, including Marla Gibbs, Jimmie Walker, and Kadeem Hardison.

Nonetheless, once the awarding of trophies began, it became clear that the diversity of nominees did not necessarily extend to the winners, who were overwhelmingly white, particularly in the comedy category.

When people think of "diversity" they're most often referring to racial diversity. However, what was equally troubling was the fact that all the major awards went to one show: the charming Amazon period comedy "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." This is a different type of diversity problem: when one show monopolizes the awards.

In the era of "peak TV," I would argue that it's highly problematic to give all the awards within a particular genre to one show.

Yes, it's true that HBO's "Barry" won the two male acting awards, but this was in part because "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" has no male lead.

But to give both female acting awards, and the writing, directing and best comedy awards to "Mrs. Maisel" means denying recognition to equally deserving shows, namely "Atlanta," whose brilliant second season is, I would argue, even more compelling than its first.

"Atlanta" didn't deserve to win best series because it's a "black" show; it deserved to win because of its incredible emotional range -- episodes this season evoked the hilarity and absurdity of "Seinfeld" ("Barbershop"), the fear and darkness of grief ("The Woods") and a bizarre, ultimately tragic commentary on black stardom ("Teddy Perkins") -- and because it's one of the most innovative shows ever made.

The drama category was much more evenly spread out, with actors from four different shows winning -- Matthew Rhys for "The Americans," Claire Foy for "The Crown," Peter Dinklage for "Game of Thrones," and Thandie Newton for "Westworld."

"The Americans," "The Crown" and "Game of Thrones" similarly split the writing, directing and series awards. And while I personally was pulling for a sweep by "The Americans," which has been so thoroughly ignored by the Emmys in previous seasons and which pulled off a near-perfect final season, there is, objectively, much more value in spreading the awards out among various shows, particularly at a time when there's such an embarrassment of riches on television.

Tim Goodman, chief TV critic at The Hollywood Reporter, has long argued that the Emmy nominations need to be extended to 10 nominees per category, in order to recognize the huge expansion of quality shows in the past decade. While an important step, this wouldn't necessarily solve the issue of one show sweeping. There was an unexpectedly diverse group of winners in 2016, but last year saw a sweep by "The Handmaid's Tale" in the drama category. It's my hunch that the more diverse the Television Academy becomes (in terms of not just race but also age, gender identity and sexuality), the less often sweeps will happen because of the greater plurality of perspectives among voters.

Diversity may have been the theme of this year's Emmys, but the results were a mixed bag. Yes, the comedy winners were overwhelmingly white and dominated by one show. However, the FX miniseries "American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace" also won several major awards, which was a step forward not only for LGBTQ representation, but for a diverse form of storytelling (the series used a reverse chronological format and upended the audience's expectations regarding who would be the focus of the story).

Diversity can be measured in myriad ways, but one thing is certain: spreading out the awards among various shows is guaranteed to yield better results by recognizing a multiplicity of voices and perspectives.

Huntsville
Few Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 71°
Florence
Broken Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 71°
Fayetteville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Few Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Scottsboro
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 61006

Reported Deaths: 738
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby13423223
Davidson13162143
Rutherford352539
Hamilton330538
Sumner189756
Williamson170816
Knox15919
Trousdale15085
Out of TN138410
Wilson114817
Putnam10117
Bradley9594
Robertson92413
Sevier9153
Unassigned9102
Montgomery7327
Lake6970
Tipton6967
Bledsoe6291
Bedford6239
Macon5977
Hamblen4724
Maury4543
Hardeman4114
Fayette3685
Madison3522
Blount3403
Loudon3322
Rhea3150
Dyer2913
McMinn27619
Cheatham2693
Washington2610
Dickson2580
Lawrence2326
Cumberland2134
Sullivan2104
Anderson1952
Jefferson1821
Lauderdale1804
Gibson1771
Monroe1556
Greene1512
Smith1502
Coffee1410
Cocke1360
Hardin1257
Warren1230
Obion1192
Haywood1183
Franklin1163
Marshall1152
Wayne1150
Carter1031
Giles1031
Hickman1030
McNairy1011
Marion944
Hawkins862
Lincoln860
DeKalb850
White853
Roane810
Overton721
Henderson710
Weakley701
Campbell691
Claiborne680
Grundy652
Chester630
Unicoi590
Grainger560
Polk550
Carroll521
Crockett523
Henry510
Cannon490
Sequatchie490
Jackson470
Johnson460
Humphreys392
Meigs380
Perry370
Morgan311
Decatur270
Fentress260
Scott260
Stewart260
Union250
Moore210
Clay200
Houston200
Benton151
Hancock110
Lewis110
Van Buren90
Pickett70

 

 

Community Events