In The News / Lifestyle

What The Emmy Noms Tell Us About Diversity in Hollywood

Earlier this week, the 2015 Emmy Award nominees were announced. After the Oscar Awards (AKA Sausage Fest 2k15), feminists everywhere were on-edge regarding the nominee announcements. As we’ve all noticed, Hollywood has a notorious reputation for lacking in diversity; whether its race, gender or sexuality, it’s quite rare that films and television shows accurately portray the diversity we see (or at least, strive to see) in American life. Though we still have quite a long ways to go, the Emmy nominees list is one of the most diverse Hollywood awards lists we’ve seen in a while. Here’s a few of the ceiling-shattering highlights.

Lead Actress

Taraji P. Henson (Empire) and Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder) are two black actresses that are nominated for the “Lead Actress in a Drama” category. This is monumental because no black woman has ever won this award before, and the amount of African-American nominees has increased 3 times from the 2014 nominations. Both women kick ass in their respective roles, so it’ll be exciting to (hopefully) see Henson or Davis make Emmys history.


Girl-power seems to be the theme for this year’s Emmys. The two Amy’s (Poehler and Schumer), Tina Fey, Uzo Aduba and Queen Latifah are among the many feminist icons nominated for multiple awards this year. These women are inspiring icons in both reality and the roles they play, so their nominations show that Hollywood is ready to recognize women’s hard work.

LGBTQ+ Representation

The LGBTQ+ community has also made strides in this year’s batch of nominees. Albeit the recognition is a bit late in the game and not quite as big as many would like, baby steps toward equality are steps nonetheless. Shows like Transparent and Orange Is The New Black, which feature transgender characters, have been nominated in their respective categories for “Outstanding Series”. This is another milestone met toward accepting transgender actors in the industry, after Laverne Cox became the first transgender actress nominated last year.4

Women Over 40

Furthermore, many women over the age of 40 have been nominated for multiple awards. Like the previously mention Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, actresses like Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Edie Falco have been nominated for their amazing skills. Finally, Hollywood is admitting that women’s talent is completely lost once they hit a certain age.

The nominations definitely made strides for women in the entertainment industry, but there’s still work to be done. While many female actresses received nominations, only three women were nominated in the writers and directors categories. Because women still makeup only 29% of TV writing rooms, these few nominees are anything but shocking. And though two African-American actresses have been nominated, and 9 black actors have been nominated in total, these numbers are sadly too low. Hollywood still has miles to go before being an advocate for equality of sex, race and gender, but the 2015 nominees show that the industry is definitely headed in the right direction.

VocaLady will definitely continue to keep a close on the Emmys! Look out for our tweets on the night of!

Image credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, cover


One thought on “What The Emmy Noms Tell Us About Diversity in Hollywood

  1. Pingback: May The Force Be With You: Why We Need a Diverse Star Wars | Vocalady

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