Asian and Pacific Islander actors did not fare well in terms of 2021 Primetime Emmys acting nominations, but AAPI will be far better represented at the 2022 ceremony.
South Korean actor Lee Jung-Jae was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series following his turn in Netflix’s “Squid Game,” while Sandra Oh scored another nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series courtesy of “Killing Eve.”
Bowen Yang received a supporting actor nod for “Saturday Night Live” while Park Hae-Soo, Oh-Yeong-su, Jung Ho-yeon and Lee You-mi were all also nominated for “Squid Game.” HBO Max’s “Station Eleven” landed Himesh Patel an Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie nod. Nick Mohammed scored a nod for his turn in Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso.” Padma Lakshmi is nominated for Outstanding Host for Reality or Competition Program for “Top Chef,” while Tan France is nominated along with his “Queer Eye” co-hosts.
Black talent scored nominations across several categories. “Abbott Elementary” star and creator Quinta Brunson became the first Black woman nominated for three Emmys, including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy series alongside Issa Rae (HBO’s “Insecure”). Donald Glover garnered a nod for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy series with the third season of FX’s “Atlanta.”
Zendaya is now the youngest two-time Emmy acting nominee at age 25 thanks to HBO’s “Euphoria” and the youngest producer nominee ever. In 2020, she became the youngest actress to win an acting award. “Ted Lasso” co-star Toheeb Jimoh and “Abbott Elementary” co-star Tyler James Williams both notched Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series nominations as did the Lebanese-American Tony Shalhoub for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
Janelle James (“Abbott Elementary”), “Sarah Niles (“Ted Lasso”) and Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”) were all nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Jerrod Carmichael (“SNL”) and Sam Richardson (“Ted Lasso”) were awarded Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series nominations and Natasha Rothwell left “The White Lotus” with a nod for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie. Colman Domingo (“Euphoria”) and Sanaa Lathan (“Succession”) were also nominated.
Selena Gomez (Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building”) became just the second Latina to ever be nominated as a producer after Salma Hayek for Fox’s “Ugly Betty” in 2007. Celia D. Costas is the only Latina woman to ever win as a producer (for “Angels in America” in 2004). Only two Latina women have ever been nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Rita Moreno (“9 to 5”) and America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”).
LGBTQ+ nominees include “SNL” castmembers Yang, Kate McKinnon, and guest host Jerrod Carmichael, “Drag Race” host RuPaul, “Queer Eye” hosts Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness, “Impeachment” star Sarah Paulson, “The White Lotus” star Murray Bartlett, “Only Murders” guest star Jane Lynch and “Euphoria” co-star Domingo. “Hacks” star Hannah Einbender identifies as bisexual.