As you can probably imagine, due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing, the Emmys looked a little different this year — but that didn’t make it any less memorable.
From a record number of Black actors winning top awards to Schitt’s Creek‘s clean comedy sweep, here are the biggest milestones of the night…
A record number of Black actors won top awards
When the list of nominations for the 2020 Emmys came out a couple of months ago, it was reported that Black actors had received a record number. And after wins from Regina King, Yahya Abdul-Meteen II, Uzo Aduba, and Zendaya on Sunday, following Creative Arts Emmy wins for Maya Rudolph, Ron Cephas Jones, and Eddie Murphy last week, the total number of wins for Black actors stood at seven — a new record.
It’s worth noting that the Emmys, however, has long had a problem with diversity. Between 2015 and 2019, for instance, the LA Times found that 82 percent of nominees were white in prime-time Emmy categories. A new record set at this year’s event, while obviously a huge positive, only goes some way to addressing diversity issues.
Zendaya became the youngest ‘Lead Actress in a Drama Series’ winner
This year was the first time Zendaya had been nominated for an Emmy, and it immediately paid off. She won in the highly competitive ‘Lead Actress in a Drama Series’ category for her performance as Rue in HBO’s Euphoria, beating the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Colman, Sandra Oh, and Laura Linney, and also becoming the youngest ever person to win the category. The 24-year-old took the crown from Killing Eve‘s Jodie Comer, who set the record in 2019 at 26.
It’s also notable that it’s also only the second time in 70 years of Emmys that a Black woman has won this category — Viola Davis won for How To Get Away With Murder in 2015. Seven decades.
RuPaul’s now won five in a row
If you’re planning on taking the crown from RuPaul, you better work. At this point, the Drag Race monarch basically owns the Emmy for ‘Outstanding Host For a Reality Competition Program.’ RuPaul has now won the thing five years running, breaking a record for the greatest number of wins in that particular category.
Schitt’s Creek made a record-breaking clean sweep
Schitt’s Creek certainly went out with a bang. After scooping up two Creative Arts Emmys last week, the show’s final season went on to completely sweep the ceremonies comedy awards on Sunday, grabbing another seven Emmys and breaking a record for the most wins in a single season of a comedy show. The show’s stars Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Dan Levy, and Annie Murphy all won their categories, and the show picked up directing, writing, casting, and costume gongs, as well as the coveted ‘Best Comedy Series’ award.
Watchmen made Emmys history for comic books
Prior to Sunday night, no comic book adaptation had ever won the Emmy for ‘Outstanding Limited Series.’ But at the 2020 Emmys, Watchmen changed that. The HBO adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ 1986 DC Comics series was a big winner all round on Sunday, also scooping up acting trophies for Regina King (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series), and writers Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson for Outstanding Writing.
So, plenty of milestones reached. But these weren’t the only highlights of the night…