In an awards year already known for bolstering the presence of Asian creators and actors, Netflix and A24’s “Beef” garnered a nomination in Outstanding or Anthology Series category. It is the first time a series fully created by and starring Asians has ever been nominated in this category, and the Limited/Anthology categories have a never-before-seen explosion of Asian talent getting recognized.
Stars Steven Yeun (nominated for a best actor Oscar for “Minari” in 2021) and Ali Wong (a previous Emmy nominee for writing her Netflix comedy special “Ali Wong: Don Wong” last year) received their first Emmy nominations for acting as a pair of Los Angeles road ragers whose lives intertwine in brash, violent and unexpected ways. Costars Joseph Lee and Young Mazino also scored surprising nods in the supporting actor category. Creator Lee Sung Jin was nominated in both the writing and directing categories.
Another Asian actor recognized this year in the limited series canon included a very surprising Kumail Nanjiani for “Welcome to Chippendales,”, who was not on most prediction wavelengths and only minimally seen promoting the limited series. It marks the first time two Asian actors have been nominated as lead actors in the Limited Series/Anthology category.
Last year’s Netflix phenomenon “Squid Game” (soon to be in production on its long-awaited second season) represented a boon for recognizing Asian actors on television, with four actors in the major acting categories, and even won Emmys for leading actor Lee Jung-jae and guest performer Lee Yoo-mi, as well as a statuette for creator Hwang Dong-hyuk for directing.
The 75th Emmys are due to air on Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Fox.