The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards celebrated all things television. As always, there were fashion hits and misses, touching speeches, and plenty of joy and disappointment.
Director Ava DuVernay arrived at the ceremony in style, wearing a stunning Reem Acra gown and with five dashing men as her dates. The men were the Exonerated Five – Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise – who were wrongfully convicted of rape in 1990, and whose stories Duvernay told so masterfully in the Netflix miniseries When They See Us. DuVernay’s powerful series had 10 nominations, including best Directing for Duvernay, several acting noms, and Best Limited Series. The show didn’t end up winning the top award but Jharrel Jerome, who played Korey Wise, did nab the Emmy for Lead Actor in a Limited Series. After tearfully thanking his mom and DuVernay, Jerome dedicated his win to the Exonerated Five who then received a standing ovation.
4-Award Night for Fleabag
Seen as something of an underdog going up against shows like Veep, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag ended up having a big night with wins for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Directing, and Outstanding Comedy Actress for Waller-Bridge.
Few Wins for Non-Returning Faves
Longtime darlings Veep and This is Us were snubbed. For Veep fans, the blow may have been felt even more strongly since the show has reached its conclusion. Game of Thrones, in a similar boat, did pick up a few wins including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Supporting Actor for Peter Dinklage.
Billy Porter Wows in Michael Kors Crystal Suit
Other notable wins of the evening include RuPaul’s Drag Race winning Outstanding Competition Series and Billy Porter winning Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. This win is particularly special as Porter is the first openly gay Black man to win this category and this leaves him one award shy of the EGOT. Porter, known for his bold fashion choices, accepted the award wearing a suit adorned with more than 130,000 crystals. He then gave a moving speech during which he quoted James Baldwin: “It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around this Earth like I had a right to be here.” He then assured all listening: “I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right.”