Big Night for Diversity at 68th Annual Emmy Awards

September 19, 2016

Records were broken and laughter was had at last night’s 68th Annual Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Throughout the evening, the New York Film Academy participated in a live twitter feed, with many of its students and followers following along.

The event began with a hilarious opening monologue from Kimmel, where politics and diversity were some of the more popular talking points. The issue of diversity was again brought up, with its first winners, Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, winning awards for writing in a comedy series for their show, “Master of None.” Their award-winning episode “Parents,” focused on the two’s relationships with their hardworking immigrant parents.

While Ansari didn’t have a chance to give a speech, Yang had some powerful words about Asian American representation in Hollywood. He pointed out that there are 17 million Asian Americans in the U.S., as well as 17 million Italian Americans.

“They have ‘The Godfather,’ ‘Rocky,’ ‘Goodfellas,’ ‘The Sopranos’…We have Long Duk Dong,” Yang said, referring to the character from “Sixteen Candles.”

Following their win was Kate McKinnon, who was awarded with Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her various sketches on “Saturday Night Live” — most recently noted for her portrayal of Hillary Clinton.


Again embracing diversity, The Outstanding Comedy Actor award went to Jeffrey Tambor, who plays a transgender woman in the Amazon series “Transparent.” While accepting the award, Tambor encouraged the industry to offer more opportunities to the trans community.

The big winners of the evening were “Game of Thrones,” “Veep,” and “The People vs O.J. Simpson,” which NYFA instructor Ken Lerner appeared in. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” beat out “Frasier’s” 37 total awards with a record-breaking 38 Emmy awards.

Handing out the award for Best Actress in a Limited Series to Julia Louis Dreyfuss was former NYFA Guest Speaker Bryan Cranston, who has several Emmys of his own from his remarkable work on “Breaking Bad.”

A touching moment during the evening came when the award ceremony recognized the work of the late Garry Marshall, who spoke graciously at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus a few times over the years. Marshall was remembered for his groundbreaking television work on “Happy Days,” “Laverne and Shirley,” “Mork and Mindy,” and others.

As the evening came to a close, Kimmel said his last words, which included an inside reference to his longtime pal Howard Stern, saying we “hit ’em with the Hein!”