Emmys 2021: Award winners and highlights you shouldn't miss
This year's Primetime Emmy Awards brought together some of the biggest stars under one roof, in a night filled with tears but also laughter, as you'd expect with Cedric the Entertainer as the host. From Ted Lasso's wins to Netflix's The Crown bringing home seven awards, there were many nods to the familiar faces and shows that kept us entertained during lockdown.
That said, beneath the Emmys' sparkling veneer of joy and celebration lurked the reminder that any win for diversity is hard-fought. Despite the historic and diverse nomination list, no major acting trophies went to actors of colour—leading #EmmysSoWhite to trend across social media. It was two hours into the broadcast before the first person of colour, RuPaul for RuPaul's Drag Race, brought home the award for Outstanding Reality Competition.
Nonetheless, the awards were well-deserved by their recipients, coloured or otherwise. Here are some of the night's highlights:
1. Michaela Coel's rousing acceptance speech
British actress Michaela Coel is the first Black woman to win in the 'Outstanding Writer for a Limited Series' category, for I May Destroy You. She also created, produced, directed, and stars in the series. It is Coel's first Emmy and in her memorable acceptance speech, she dedicated the show to every single survivor of sexual assault. "Write the tales that scare you, that make you feel uncertain, that isn't comfortable. I dare you," she urged. "In a world that entices us to browse through the lives of others to help us better determine how we feel about ourselves, and to in turn feel the need to be constantly visible—for visibility these days seems to somehow equate to success—do not be afraid to disappear. From it, from us, for a while, and see what comes to you in the silence."
2. Olivia Coleman's teary speech for Lead Actress in a Drama
We choked up when Olivia Coleman expressed a heartfelt longing for her late father to be in the audience. After receiving the award, she said: "I'm going to be very quick because I'm very teary, as I wish my dad was here to see this. I lost my daddy during Covid, and he would have loved all of this."
3. Conan O'Brien crashing multiple speeches
The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien host was caught stealing the spotlight a few times at tonight's Emmy Awards, one of them being Stephen Colbert's win for Outstanding Variety Special (Live) for his 2020 election night coverage. O'Brien wasted no time hopping on stage, screaming with joy at Colbert's win and giving a speech too, despite not being a part of the cast and crew. Colbert later confirmed this was pre-planned with O'Brien, so don't hate on Conan for being
4. Ted Lasso and The Crown bringing home the bacon
Jason Sudeikis' masterful performance in Ted Lasso earned him the coveted Best Actor in a Comedy Series award. Sudeikis, who accepted his statuette mustacheless, thanked SNL's Lorne Michels for casting him on the sketch show many years back. The twist: Michels wasn't in the audience, having stepped away for a break. Proving his gift for comedy, Sudeikis was unfazed and quipped: "I want to thank Lorne, who went to go take a dump now—perfect." Ted Lasso won four awards.
Another big winner of the night was Netflix's original drama, The Crown, which took home seven Emmys including Lead Actor (Josh O'Connor) and Lead Actress (Olivia Coleman) in a Drama Series. It was also named Best Drama Series—a first for Netflix.
5. The Queen's Gambit calling checkmate with two wins
Another Netflix original series,The Queen's Gambit, won two top Emmy awards: Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series. Sadly, its creators say there won't be a second season—but they are hoping to work with lead actress Anya Taylor-Joy again!
Full list of winners for the 2021 Emmy Awards:
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie: Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie: Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series: The Crown (Peter Morgan, Episode: "War")
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: The Crown (Jessica Hobbs, Episode: "War")
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Gillian Anderson, The Crown
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Tobias Menzies, The Crown
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Outstanding Variety Talk Series: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series: Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Hacks (Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, Jen Statsky, Episode: "There Is No Line")
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Hacks (Lucia Aniello, Episode: "There Is No Line")
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Jean Smart, Hacks
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Outstanding Competition Program: RuPaul's Drag Race
Outstanding Directing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie: The Queen's Gambit (Scott Frank)
Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie: I May Destroy You (Michaela Coel)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie: Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie: Ewan McGregor, Halston
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Olivia Colman, The Crown
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Josh O'Connor, The Crown
Outstanding Variety Special (Live): Stephen Colbert's Election Night 2020: Democracy's Last Stand Building Back America Great Again Better 2020
Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded): Hamilton
Outstanding Comedy Series: Ted Lasso
Outstanding Drama Series: The Crown
Outstanding Limited Series: The Queen's Gambit