It’s time to celebrate a new batch of queer Emmy Award winners!
The 2022 Emmy Awards were broadcast live last night. The night was a celebration of talent! And, thankfully, more entertaining than the last batch of Awards shows.
The night was a HISTORIC year with moments like the first Black woman to win Lead Actress in a Drama twice or the first actor from a non-English show to win Best Lead Actor. Hey, is Hollywood finally starting to care about people of color and queer people? Well, see for yourself with this quick rundown of the 2022 Emmy Awards.
The HBO show White Lotus was triumphant that night with a win for Outstanding Limited Series and Mike White’s win for Writing for a Limited Series or TV Movie. Murray Batlett joined the fun by winning Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie. The openly gay actor thanked his partner Max in his acceptance speech for being his “sanctuary.”
Jerrod Carmichael joined the list of LGBTQ+ wins after picking up the Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special Award for his special Rothianiel.
“I wanted to win, I’m happy I won,” Carmichael said in his speech. “I made something that was of great personal consequence to me, and this definitely contributes to the meaning of it.”
Carmichael then said that he would be leaving the ceremony, “I’m not like a sore winner, but I’m gonna go home because I can’t top this!”
And if you missed it, Carmichael came out as gay in his April special.
“After that was out in the open, I was left alone feeling like a liar, because I had a secret,” the comedian said in a section about how he caught his father cheating on his mother and realized he also had a secret of his own. “One that I kept from my father, my mother, my family, my friends, and you. Professionally, personally. And the secret is that I’m gay.”
“I’m accepting the love, I really appreciate the love,” he added. “My ego wants to rebel against it. I rebelled against it my whole life. I thought I’d never, ever come out. At many points I thought I’d rather die than confront the truth of that, to actually say it to people. Because I know it changes some people’s perceptions of me. I can’t control that.”
LBGTQ+ ally Lizzo also took home a win for her show Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls. The show won the award for Best Competition Program and ended RuPaul’s Drag Race’s four-year winning streak.
Sheryl Lee Ralph
But the biggest moment of the night was when Sheryl Lee Ralph won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The Abbott Elementary actress is an industry veteran who’s worked in film since the 1970s. This is her first Emmy win and makes her the second Black woman to win in the category after Jackee Harry won for 227 in 1987.
When she got on the stage, with the help of her Abbott castmates, Ralph broke out in song. She sang a verse from jazz singer Diane Reeves’ 1993 song “Endangered Species.”
“I am an endangered species, but I sing no victim song,” she swooned, using the same vocal skills from her Tony-Award winning performance in the 1981 Dreamgirls production. “I am a woman, I am an artist, and I know where my voice belongs.”
“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,” Ralph then said. “This is what striving looks like, and don’t you ever, ever give up on you.”
“Because if you get a Quinta Brunson, if you get a husband like mine in your corner,” Ralph continued. “If you get children like mine in your corner, and if you’ve got friends like everybody who voted for me, cheered for me, loved me, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
Also made history that night. The Euphoria actress took home the award for Lead Actress in a Drama Series. With that, the 26-year-old became the first Black woman to receive the award twice. She’s also the youngest two-time winner for an acting Emmy.
Playing a queer high school drug addict named Rue, Zendaya dedicated her win to fans who connected with the character.
She said, “I want you to know that anyone who has loved a Rue or feels like they are Rue, I want you to know that I’m so grateful for your stories and I carry them with me and I carry them with her.”
Jennifer Coolidge & Speech Times
The Award ceremony wasn’t all laughs and love, though. There were a few minor controversies. Nothing Oscars punch level, but enough drama to get people talking on Twitter. And sadly, the two issues could have been easily avoided.
The first issue was the messy and uneven time limits. While Michael Keaton and Sheryl Lee Ralph were given plenty of time for their acceptance speeches, other winners weren’t so lucky. The clock seemed to start after winners’ names were called. But, as Jason Sudeikis pointed out, that meant winners only had 30 seconds by the time they got to the stage mic.
One of the worst examples of this was when Jennifer Coolidge, another veteran actress, being ushered off after barely getting out her thanks. Coolidge, ever the icon, tried to play along with the moment by dancing to her farewell song. But then producers cut her mic.
Quinta Brunson & Jimmy Kimmel
A similar moment happened with Abbott Elementary creator, writer, and star Quinta Brunson. Brunson was similarly cut off early into her speech. Though, her time might have been eaten up by Jimmy Kimmel playing dead on stage. The late-night host decided to keep up with his bit before the nominees’ names were called. Some reactions to the moment on Twitter are calling out Kimmel for ruining Brunson’s moment.
Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae
The last history making moment of the night was when Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae won Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He has now become the first South Korean star (and first Asian star) to win the category. Squid Game is also the first foreign language series to be nominated for Outstanding Drama Series.
“Thank you so much,” said Lee, “first of all I’d like to thank God above.”
“Thank you to the television academy, thank you to Netflix, thank you to director Hwang [Dong-hyuk] for realistic problem we all face come to life to creatively on the screen with a great script and amazing visuals,” he added.
“Thank you,” he ended, “Thank you Squid Game team!”
What were your favorite moments from the night? Let us know your thoughts below!