Sunday night, fans of Kerry Washington’s character Olivia Pope in the ABC hit drama “Scandal” had to swallow the fact that the actress did not win the award for Lead Actress in a Drama Series (despite the outstanding ratings). The win would have been historic. Washington was the first actress nominated in a leading television role in 20 years. Instead, the award went to Claire Danes of Homeland. It was Danes’ second win for the same role.
Legendary actress Diahann Carroll – who shared a red carpet appearance with Washington as well as the stage – acknowledged that although the industry had shown support of Black actors over the years, things could be better. “I feel we’re a little behind. We need to catch up,” she said. (Carroll was the first ever African American Emmy nominee. She received the nod for her role as a nurse in NBC’s TV sitcom “Julia”.)
Many would agree that this was Washington’s year. Aside from two successful seasons on Shonda Rhimes’ hit television show, the actress also starred in the film Django Unchained in December and scored the cover of several top magazines including Elle in June and Vanity Fair in August.
In his article "The Emmys Present Another TV Blackout" which appears on Ebony.com, writer Karu F. Daniels provides a quick analysis of this year’s three African American nominees and information from a Nielsen study, summing up by saying: “This data, juxtaposed with the dearth of Black people winning awards, should make the television industry pause about how things are being done. But that could be wishful thinking for many.”
Read more at Ebony.com