Though Netflix was the biggest winner on Emmy night, global TV chief Bela Bajaria lamented a lack of diversity among the winners Sunday.
Despite multiple nominees of color in nearly every category, every major acting trophy was handed to a white winner. Netflix in particular was a big beneficiary. “The Crown” swept the drama categories, with the four acting prizes taken home by the show’s white stars: Gillian Anderson, Tobias Menzies, Josh O’Connor and Olivia Colman.
Bajaria said that even though Netflix won big for the Royal drama, she was disappointed some of their more diverse series did not get the same level of recognition.
“We did put a lot of support behind diverse shows like ‘Bridgerton,’ we also put a lot of support behind ‘Never Have I Ever,’ which is very near and dear to me, and I wish we would have seen that recognized,” Bajaria told reporters on Monday morning. “Ultimately, the voters decide what wins, but I do think it was really great to see such an amazing sort of — if you look at all the nominees — like a really great diverse group of nominees.”
She added that the biggest impact Netflix can have as a content provider is to keep amplifying diverse stories. “The biggest impact is really continuing to support with investment into the storytelling and what shows get made. To me that is going to be the biggest by far impact.”
Overall, Netflix dominated the Emmys with 44 wins including the Creative Arts awards. The most awarded show was a tie between “The Queen’s Gambit” and “The Crown,” with each bagging 11 wins.
Netflix’s 44 wins tied the record for the most by any network or platform, which was first set by CBS in 1974.
Bajaria was asked if the pandemic, which affected production schedules for many other would-be Emmy contenders including last year’s Drama winner “Succession,” helped Netflix’s blowout.
“I believe at any moment in history, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and ‘The Crown,’ and many of those other shows would absolutely have won and could have won,” she said. “I just think the quality of the work that Scott Frank and his team and Peter Morgan and the entire casting crew of that show, and many of the other shows that we had launched this past year really spoke for themselves.”