This year’s Emmy nominees will spotlight a more diverse generation of actors, with Latino artists having a particularly strong performance.
Of course, that’s largely thanks to Pedro Pascal, who became the most nominated Latino in a single year with three names. He is recognized for his work in “The Last of Us” as a lead dramatic actor, “Saturday Night Live” as a guest comedy actor, and “Patagonia: Life on the Edge of the World” as a narrator. . Pascal’s nomination for HBO’s dystopian video game adaptation makes him the second Latino ever recognized in the drama category after Jimmy Smits’ four consecutive nominations for “NYPD Blue” from 1996 to 1999. But some notable Latino stars don’t haven’t heard their name read, namely Diego Luna, who was snubbed for Disney’s “Andor,” despite being nominated for Best Drama Series.
Elsewhere, Netflix’s original series ‘Wednesday’ made star Jenna Ortega the third Latina ever recognized in comedy lead actress – after Rita Moreno for ‘9 to 5’ in 1983 and the two names America Ferrera for “Ugly Betty” in 2007 and 2008. Ferrera is the sole winner of the trio. Ortega is also the second-youngest in the category after Patty Duke, who was 17 in 1964 for “The Patty Duke Show.”
Selena Gomez was once again snubbed for her performance as dry-witted Mabel in Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building” despite good reviews for her work. However, she is recognized as one of the show’s nominated executive producers in the Best Comedy Series category. She is only the third Latina ever nominated for the production.
Aubrey Plaza, who is half Puerto Rican, landed her first career nod for supporting actress in a drama for ‘The White Lotus’, becoming the third Latina nominated in the category after Morena Baccarin for ‘Homeland’ in 2013 and Alexis Bledel for “The Handmaid’s Tale” in 2018.
The supporting comedy actress set a record with four black women nominated. They include Ayo Edebiri (“The Bear”), Jessica Williams (“Shrinking”) and Janelle James and Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”). No acting category has ever had more black women.
Quinta Brunson made history last year when she became the first black woman to win for writing the pilot episode of ABC’s “Abbott Elementary.” But she won’t repeat the feat this year, having missed out on a nomination for writing the Season 2 opener titled “Development Day.” As it stands, no black woman has ever been nominated for writing more than once.
But Brunson is still up for best lead actress in a comedy, for producing the series and for hosting “SNL.” Elsewhere, Dominique Fishback landed a surprise Leading Actress (Limited) nomination for Prime Video’s “Swarm,” and at 32, she’s the youngest recognized black woman in the category.
Two-time Emmy-winning director Paris Barclay, who helms the finale of Netflix’s limited series ‘Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,’ becomes the first black person to be nominated in all three directing series categories . His previous names were for “NYPD Blue” and “The West Wing” in drama and “Glee” in comedy.
Additionally, “Nailed It” host Nicole Byer is now the most nominated Black woman for Outstanding Host with four nods. However, she has yet to convert any of these into wins.
Asian representation among the Emmys was strong with Netflix’s “Beef” landing multiple names for its actors Steven Yeun, Ali Wong, Young Mazino and Joseph Lee. Additionally, Kumail Nanjiani was able to sneak into the (limited) lead actor lineup for Hulu’s “Welcome to Chippendales,” another surprise inclusion.
Non-binary actor Bella Ramsey, who uses the pronouns she and them, is the second openly non-binary actor ever nominated. Her recognition for ‘The Last of Us’ comes after Carl Clemons Hopkins, another non-binary performer, was nominated for ‘Hacks’ in 2020. At 19, Ramsey is the fourth youngest person ever nominated in Drama Actress. behind Kristy McNichol (17 in 1980 for “Family”), Claire Danes (16 in 1995 for “My So-Called Life”) and Melissa Sue Anderson (15 in 1978 for “Little House on the Prairie”).
And 10-year-old Kevionn Martin, who walked away with an inspired name for ‘The Last of Us,’ is the second deaf actor to be nominated to star. Plus, he’s now the youngest male actor ever nominated for an acting award, beating out Fred Savage (who was 13 when he was nominated for “The Wonder Years”).
But the Emmys chose to ignore the more senior winners. Several veteran stars who were to be nominated, such as Steve Martin and Shirley MacLaine (“Only Murders in the Building”), Harrison Ford (“1923” and “Shrinking”) and Helen Mirren (“1923”), were snubbed.
More work to do, but a hopeful uptrend.