Emmy Nominations: Black Actors Shine, Sandra Oh Makes History

The 2018 Emmy Award nominations were announced Thursday morning, shining a spotlight on outstanding work by actors of color.

Among the nominees in the Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie category were John Legend for his role as Jesus Christ in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert. He’ll compete against Antonio Banderas for his portrayal of Pablo Picasso in National Geographic’s Genius: Picasso.

Regina King received a nomination in the Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category for her role in the Netflix drama, Seven Seconds.

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In the comedy categories, Donald Glover received a nomination for his work in FX’s Atlanta, and Anthony Anderson was nominated for playing family patriarch Andre Johnson in ABC’s Black-ish.

Anderson’s Black-ish co-star Tracee Ellis Ross was also nominated and will compete against first-time nominee Issa Rae of HBO’s Insecure.

On the drama series side, Sterling K. Brown of NBC’s This Is Us and Jeffrey Wright of HBO’s Westworld were nominated.

Sandra Oh, who plays a spy on BBC America’s Killing Eve, became the first actress of Asian descent to earn an Emmy nomination for lead actress in a drama series.

Oh was previously nominated five times for her role on ABC’s medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy, in the supporting actress category. However, she never won.

Guy Aoki, founding president of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans praised Oh’s lead actress nomination.

“Her Emmy nomination for starring in Killing Eve marks a terrific comeback and a proud moment for people of Asian descent, as she becomes the first Asian ever nominated for Lead Actor or Actress in a comedy or drama series,” Aoki said in a statement.

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The Good Wife actress Archie Panjabi became the first Asian woman to win an acting Emmy in 2010 in the supporting actress category.

Aoki said if given the opportunities, Asian actors will shine.

“We have so many talented actors in our community who rarely get the opportunity to star in their own shows,” Aoki added. “Hopefully this will serve as a reminder to Hollywood of the untapped potential we have amongst Asian actors, who can bring prestige and strong ratings to their projects.”

The Handmaid’s Tale actress Samira Wiley, who also picked up a nod, and Ryan Eggold of The Blacklist announced the nominations from the Television Academy’s Saban Media Center in North Hollywood.

The 70th Emmy Awards will be broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Monday, September 17, at 8pm ET/5pm PT

For a full list of the 2018 Emmy nominations, go to Emmys.com.