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Emmys 2020 nominees are more diverse, but Latino representation still abysmal

"One Day at a Time" missed out on an Emmy nomination, as Latinos were once again sorely underrepresented among the nominees.
Ray Romano as Brian, left, Marcel Ruiz as Alex, Justina Machado as Penelope and Rita Moreno as Lydia in “One Day at a Time.” The series missed out on a 2020 Emmy nomination, as Latinos were once again sorely underrepresented.
(Nicole Wilder / POP TV)

The Times’ analysis of the racial/ethnic and gender diversity of Emmy nominees in 19 major categories from 2015 to 2019 revealed that television’s most prestigious award has not been representative of the viewing public. Instead, it’s been overwhelmingly white and male. The question was whether this summer’s events, including the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, might spur Emmy voters to nominate more performers, directors and writers of color this time around.

The answer was both a resounding “Yes!” and “Not exactly!”

An analysis of the 2020 Emmy nominations shows that 33% of the nominees in the acting categories examined are Black, compared with 14% in the five years prior. Overall, performers of color made up 37% of the total, 6% more than in any of the previous five years.

The George Floyd protests led to a new round of soul-searching about diversity in Hollywood. Our analysis of recent Emmy nominees shows several problem areas.

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Women made huge gains in the writing and directing categories, with 36% of the nominees — improving on last year’s 25% share, itself a marked improvement on four consecutive years in which women were no more than 13% of the nominees.

However, Latino performers continue to be vastly underrepresented at the Emmys. There have been no Latino performers among the lead and supporting nominees for comedy or drama series in the last six years, despite accounting for 18% of the population.(The abysmal showing drew pointed criticism on social media.) Asians, who make up about 6% of the U.S. population, stalled at 1% across the categories studied. The chasm between white writers and directors and those of color closed only slightly this year: From 2015 to 2019, white writers and directors were 90% of the nominees. This year they are 86%.


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