The 69th Annual Emmy’s Awards show honors the growing diversity of American television

Bruce Miller and the cast and crew accept the award for outstanding drama series for "The Handmaid's Tale" at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Bruce Miller and the cast and crew accept the award for outstanding drama series for "The Handmaid's Tale" at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

For the first-time last night, Hollywood rolled out the red carpet for this award’s season for the 69th annual Emmy Awards.

The night opened with a humorous monologue from late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert. His speech harped on the diversity of the writers, actors and directors who make entertainment possible. He further emphasized that our diverse Hollywood is what produced 450 new scripted television shows to air, not only on cable but on the constantly-evolving collection of online streaming and on-demand websites like Netflix, HBO and Hulu.

Colbert then travelled to the “Westworld” diagnostics lab with Westworld actor Jeffrey Wright who, in their sketch, “diagnosed” Colbert as the next Emmy Awards show host and is, with the help of Wright, robotically constructed to host the show.

The sketch honored the record-breaking 22 nominations the show received for the night, tying only with NBC’s long-running sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live,” and giving other nominees a run for their money to earn a place in the spotlight.

Actors Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon took home two of SNL’s many nominations as 2017’s best supporting comedy actor and supporting comedy actress for their performances in NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”  Baldwin, accepting his award for his portrayal of President Trump, shared his award with Mr. Trump saying “I suppose I should say, at long last, Mr. President, here is your Emmy,” eluding to his long-time appearance on the show “The Celebrity Apprentice.”  This joke was only one of the many back-handed comments of the night addressing to the White House.

“The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on the book by Margaret Atwood, dominated the Emmy stage winning eight of its 13 nominations of the night, becoming the first web television series to win an award for Outstanding Drama Series.

As a talk-show host and a comedian, Colbert gave his audience a break from the awards and had a chance to talk with the woman who has made the Emmy Awards possible, Emmy herself.  Colbert sat down with “Emmy,” portrayed by American actor and drag queen RuPaul, to gossip about television and about her own romantic encounters with other Hollywood icons, “Oscar” (representing the Academy Awards for film) and “Tony” (representing the Broadway awards).  Audience members got a laugh out of finding out that Oscar was, of course, an arrogant award, while Tony was, unfortunately, off the market and happily married.

Another history-making win went to co-writers Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe for Netflix’s “Master of None.” Waithe’s win for best comedy series writing made her the first African-American woman to win an Emmy in the category.

About midway through the awards ceremony, “Hamilton” star Christopher Jackson took the stage with a sentimental memorial performance honoring and remembering television stars and others who had died over the past year, including actors Carrie Fischer, Debbie Reynolds, Alan Thicke and Jerry Lewis.  Jackson performed “I’ll Be Loving You Always” as montages of these actors’ best moments were projected on the screen behind him.

2016 was once again a great year for television and, as Colbert had emphasized, it only continues to grow as writers continue to challenge the face of reality with their own creative minds.


Lucy Littlefield is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at lucille.littlefield@uconn.edu.