Don Cheadle is mystified by his Emmy nomination for ‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’

A Black man in a hat crouches down in grass
Don Cheadle is kind of shocked by his guest actor in a drama Emmy nomination.
(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

Don Cheadle isn’t exactly sure what the Emmys are up to, giving him a nomination for a cameo that involved about three minutes of screen time.

Three. Whole. Minutes.

The Oscar-nominated “Avengers” actor, who appeared briefly in the pilot episode of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” got the nod Tuesday morning when nominations for the 2021 Emmys were announced.

Cheadle is competing for an Emmy for guest actor in a drama series against Charles Dance for “The Crown,” Timothy Olyphant for “The Mandalorian,” Courtney B. Vance for “Lovecraft Country” and Carl Weathers for “The Mandalorian.”

“Thanks, well wishers. sorry, haters. agreed, [people who don’t get it],” Cheadle tweeted Tuesday morning, including an emoji of a man shrugging. “i don’t really get it either. buuuuuuuuuut on we go ...”


To one person who suggested that he should step down and “make a spot for someone that did a bit more,” the “Space Jam: A New Legacy” actor replied, “Step down?!? ... you really don’t know how this emmy thing works, huh?”

Imagine that with two tears-of-joy emojis in it. Because Cheadle seemed to be laughing. A lot.

An apparent fan chimed in also, providing that critic with an explanation that the actor retweeted, adding a funny gif.

Columnist and awards expert Glenn Whipp breaks down the top surprises and snubs of Tuesday’s Emmy nominations.

July 13, 2021

“You can’t step down! You can refuse to accept the award but you still win it if you get the most votes,” the fan tweeted. “What part of this are you not understanding? Marlon Brando rejected his academy award in 1973 but he’s still listed as the winner because HE WON THE DAMN THING.”

Cheadle’s nomination wasn’t the only one that “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” got Tuesday. The Marvel show, which stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, was also nominated for outstanding stunt performance by John Nania, Aaron Toney and Justin Eaton.

The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, of course, will run much longer than a mere three minutes when they air Sept. 19 on CBS.


“Falcon and the Winter Soldier” head writer Malcolm Spellman and director Kari Skogland on Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes and how Marvel Studios set up its new TV show.

March 19, 2021