Emmys 2020 highlights: Regina King's moving speech; Jimmy Kimmel, Anthony Anderson chant Black Lives Matter onstage

In his opening monologue, Emmys 2020 host Jimmy Kimmel said that while the awards night may 'seem frivolous and unnecessary', but was a welcome distraction from the pandemic.

FP Staff September 21, 2020 10:31:15 IST
Emmys 2020 highlights: Regina King's moving speech; Jimmy Kimmel, Anthony Anderson chant Black Lives Matter onstage

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, The Emmy Awards or the "Pandemmie Awards" host Jimmy Kimmel joked, took place on 20 September, with stars making an appearance remotely. Kimmel said that while the awards night may "seem frivolous and unnecessary", but was a welcome distraction from the pandemic.

"I’m up here all alone just like prom night." telling the audience that he was hosting the ceremony from an empty stage in Los Angeles' Staples Center. "This isn’t a MAGA rally. It's the Emmys," he alluded to US President Donald Trump's packed rallies.

(Also read on Firstpost —Emmys 2020 full winners' list: Succession wins Outstanding Drama Series; Schitt's Creek dominates comedy category)

With more than 100 long-distance video feeds with nominees ahead, “what could possibly go right?”

References to coronavirus were an ongoing part of the ceremony, with essential workers — including a teacher and a UPS deliveryman — presenting awards and Jason Sudeikis ostensibly getting a COVID-19 test onstage.

Schitt's Creek dominates comedy category

Schitt’s Creek, the little Canadian show about a fish-out-of-water family, made history at Sunday’s Emmy Awards with a comedy awards sweep, something even TV greats including Frasier and Modern Family failed to achieve.

The awards for Pop TV’s Schitt’s Creek included best comedy series and trophies for its stars, including Catherine O’Hara and father-son Eugene and Daniel Levy.

“It is absolutely incredible. I think my dad said it best earlier this evening: it’s a dream you don’t want to wake up from, to be honest. What an absolutely unbelievable way to end our series,” Daniel Levy said backstage.

In his acceptance speech, he said the sitcom was about “the transformational effects of love and acceptance, and this is something we need more now than ever before,” encouraging people to register and vote to achieve that goal.

All the winners accepted their awards virtually in the pandemic-safe ceremony, including O’Hara, but she wasn’t alone.

“Though these are the strangest of days, may you have as much joy being holed up in a room or two with your family as I had with my dear Roses,” O’Hara said, surrounded in a decorated room by mask-wearing co-stars who play the Rose family members.

Levy called it “ironical that the straightest role I ever played lands me an Emmy for a comedy performance. I have to seriously question what I’ve been doing” for the past 50 years.

Moments later, his son won the award for comedy writing for Schitt’s Creek episode, then shared a directing award and captured the supporting actor comedy trophy. The supporting actress trophy went to his co-star Annie Murphy.

Daniel Levy thanked his father and O’Hara for teaching an extended “master class” in comedy. The show’s sweep came for its much-acclaimed final season.

Zendaya becomes youngest lead drama actress winner

Zendaya, 24, became the youngest lead drama actress winner for her role as a troubled teenager in Euphoria.

“I know this seems like a really weird time to be celebrating,” Zendaya said. “But I just want to say there is hope in the young people out there. I know our TV show doesn’t always feel like a great example of that,” but thanked young people out there “doing the work.”

Succession declared outstanding drama series

Succession, a family power struggle over a media empire, was honored as best drama series, and creator Jesse Armstrong used the opportunity to offer “unthanks,” including to President Donald Trump for what Armstrong called his “crummy” handling of the pandemic.

Succession star Jeremy Strong won the drama actor trophy for his role as an aspiring heir.

Watchmen actor Regina King gives moving acceptance speech

Watchmen star Regina King, made a point that the November general election was near: "Gotta vote. I would be remiss not to mention that." King won her fourth Emmy, and her second led actress award, for the television adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' graphic novel series. She was showered by confetti as she accepted in an armchair, wearing a T-shirt that honoured police shooting victim Breonna Taylor.

“This is so freaky and weird,” said King, who regained her composure and called on viewers to vote and, backstage, explained why she wore the message shirt.

“The cops still haven’t been held accountable,” she said. “She represents just decades, hundreds of years of violence against Black bodies. Wearing Breonna’s likeness and representing her and her family and the stories that we were exploring, presenting and holding a mirror up to on Watchmen, it felt appropriate to represent with Breonna Taylor.”

Emmy snubs

In a year with a record number of Black nominees, 35, there was a notable lack of diversity in the show’s early going. With “Schitt’s Creek” gobbling up comedy awards, that left “Insecure” and creator Issa Rae empty-handed Sunday.

That was also true of Ramy Youssef, creator-star of the semi-autbiographical comedy Ramy, about a young Muslim American’s love and religious life. Yousef tweeted a video of a haz-mat suit-wearing person clutching an Emmy and waving goodbye after he lost the lost the comedy actor category.

Kimmel, Anthony Anderson chant Black Lives Matter on stage

Anthony Anderson, a nominee for black-ish, came on stage to make his disappointment vigorously known.

"These Emmys would have been NBA All-Star Weekend and Wakanda all wrapped into one. This was supposed to be the Blackest Emmys ever. Y'all wouldn't have been able to handle how Black it was going to be. But because of COVID we can't even get in the building," said Anderson.

These Emmys would have been so Black, it would have been hot-sauce-in-your-purse Black. It would have been Howard-University-Homecoming Black. It would have been you-fit-the-description Black. We would have had speeches quoting our great poets like Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Cardi B," and mentioned the rapper's song 'WAP' with Megan Thee Stallion, which was muted by the network, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“This isn’t what it should have been. ... But Black stories, Black performances and Black Lives Matter,” he said, urging host Jimmy Kimmel to shout with him.

Jennifer Aniston stages mini Friends reunion

Before Jimmy Kimmel announced the nominees of Outstanding Reality Competition Program, he checked in with Jennifer Aniston. She surprised him and the audience tuned in with a mini Friends reunion. Courtney Cox slipped in mid-conversation to which Kimmel asked, "Oh! Courtney Cox. Courtney's there?" Cox said, "Of course I'm here. We live together."

"Uh yeah, we've been roommates since 1994, Jimmy," Aniston added. Just then, Lisa Kudrow walked in asking, "Is this live TV?"

(With inputs from The Associated Press)

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