The Emmys: now with more cultural diversity!


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In at least one respect, this year’s Emmys were much more colorful than last year’s.
CBS’ broadcast of the 2009 Primetime Emmy Awards came under fire due to what critics called a noticeable lack of cultural diversity. Almost all the participants in that show, including nominees and presenters, were white, prompting complaints from NAACP leaders and others.

Minority nominees last year were scarce, and only one individual nominee of color — Shohreh Aghdashloo — received an award (for supporting actress in a movie or miniseries for HBO’s “House of Saddam.”) The most striking contrast came in the ranks of the presenters: Only three out of the 39 were minorities.


But Sunday’s presenters included Laurence Fishburne (“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”), Blair Underwood (“The Event”), LL Cool J (“NCIS: Los Angeles”), Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”), Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Undercovers”) and Eva Longoria Parker (“Desparate Housewives”). Vergara, Andre Braugher (“Men of A Certain Age”) and director Paris Barclay (“Glee’) were among the nominees.

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chairman and CEO John Shaffner said showcasing diversity in the industry is a priority, and that there was a noticeable increase in this year’s ceremony due to an upswing in the casting of minorities on network and cable shows.

Said Shaffner, “The numbers haven’t been very good, but I’m very encouraged by what I’m seeing this year. I’m hoping this trend will continue.”

-- Greg Braxton