Emmys history made as black actors sweep guest performance categories

Tiffany Haddish, Katt Williams, Samira Wiley and Ron Cephas Jones took home awards.

The 2018 Creative Arts Emmy Awards saw a landmark night for diversity in the entertainment industry with black actors winning all four awards for TV series guest performances for the first time.

US comedian Tiffany Haddish was honoured for her turn hosting Saturday Night Live while fellow comic Katt Williams scooped the guest comedy actor award for his appearance in comedy series Atlanta.

Tiffany Haddish
Comedian Tiffany Haddish was recognised for her turn fronting Saturday Night Live (PA)

In the equivalent drama series categories Samira Wiley won for The Handmaid’s Tale and Ron Cephas Jones was also recognised for This Is Us.

Jones, plays father William “Shakespeare” Hill in the show, who reconnects with his son Randall Pearson (Sterling K Brown) after a battle with drug addiction.

Following his victory Jones was asked if his character would have been on TV in the past.

He replied: “No. Not in this incarnation. Not that the audience wasn’t ready for it.

“But maybe the executives, or people that have a say in the writing, probably wouldn’t have been ready for this kind of thing.

“But now we are. We’re moving forward and moving ahead.”

In the previous two decades there had only been two instances of multiple wins for black guest actors.  In 2003 and 2014 two actors won prizes.

A record 11 black actors had been nominated in the guest categories, accounting for half of all those in the running for the prizes.

They were part of a record 36 diversity nominees in the acting Emmy categories across drama, comedy and limited series/movie this year, beating the previous record of 27 set last year.

Shauna Duggins also became the first woman to win an Emmy for stunt coordination for a comedy or variety series for GLOW, a show about women’s wrestling in the 1980s.

HBO drama series Game Of Thrones was the big winner of the night, taking home seven of the 15 awards it was nominated for.

The Assassination Of Gianni Versace won four prizes while The Crown, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Marvellous Mrs Maisel each won three.

The British host of US talkshow The Late, Late Show James Corden was also among the winners.

Corden’s Snapchat comedy series James Corden’s Next James Corden won two awards.

The Creative Arts Emmys are presented in recognition of technical and other similar achievements in American television programming.

The main Emmy ceremony takes place on September 17. Atlanta star Donald Glover is up for lead actor while Black-ish’s Tracee Ellis Ross is in the running for lead actress in a comedy series.

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