2019 Emmys Exhibit Another Year With A Lack Of Diversity

When people think of diversity, they typically think of the visual diversities that they can see but forget about the hidden diversities that people possess. For the 2019 Emmys out of all the winners and nominees from a list provided by CNBC – three people of color won an award. Out of the three, they were all men of color and lacking in those diversities such as gender diversity, etc. This does not dismiss those with hidden diversities (for instance, Third Culture Kids (TCKs) or Cross Culture Kids (CCks)) but our focus here is those with visual diversities that can be seen.

For the Premier Emmys, only three people of color were awarded. Jharrel Jerome an Afro-latin man who won Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for “When They See Us,” Billy Porter an openly-gay black man for Lead Actor in a Drama series for  “Pose” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” for Outstanding Competition Program.

Hidden diversities refers to traits not visible to the eye, nor can someone assume about another person. Taking a look at the 2019 Emmy winners they are all, visually, white presenting and because of that, this is where the problem lies. There is a lack of visual diversity. To put this into simpler terms, if you cannot see someone who looks like you in positions of power or positions of influence you can never imagine yourself within those positions. A good example of this is Barack Obama

President Obama announces the historic change in US Cuba policy (Doug Mills-Pool/Getty)

According to the Huffington Post in a blog post by Andrew Saunders The Importance Of Representing Diversity In Visual Communications he points out that “Diversity is present in every part of life, whether it be the food you eat, the music you listen to or the idols you look up to.” Saunders continues to say,  “One area it has been too slow to show up in is the commercial and editorial visual space, where “representative” imagery is not in fact representative of the audiences it is speaking to.”

How can something like the Emmys be produced for 71 years and still lack visual diversity? Will the future of the Emmys finally change to be visually diverse since it is so important for people of color watching it to feel represented?


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