The Hidden Diversity in the 72nd Emmy Awards

The U.S.A.’s 72nd Emmy Awards showcased many celebrities and their talents. But also put the spotlight specifically on the diverse nominees. This year, the diversity was at the highest it’s ever been, “Emmys were record-breaking for Black performers,” (Film). Uzo Aduba was one of the seven black nominees that won an Emmy. On the other hand, what you don’t see is the hidden diversity that lies within the Emmy winners that don’t look stereotypically diverse, for example, Mark Ruffalo. Both Aduba and Ruffalo share the similarity of growing up under the influence of various cultures.

Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo received the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Story during the 72nd Emmy Awards. Ruffalo is known for his roles in I Know This Much Is True, Avengers, and Spotlight. He is known to many as being a superhero on and off screen. Ruffalo started to move around the U.S.A. at a young age starting from Wisconsin to Virginia and then to California. Each of these states’ cultures contrast drastically and Ruffalo had to adapt to all during his developmental years, making him a Domestic Third Culture Kid (DTCK). 

Ruffalo’s Background

Ruffalo was born to parents Marie and Frank. His father, Frank is from Girifalco, Italy and his mother, Marie of French-Canadian descent. Being raised by parents who experienced multiple cultures shapes the life of their child. Way differently than having two native Wisconsin parents. Ruffalo was able to know Italian, French, and Canadian culture while growing up. Being raised by three different cultures in three different states and made him incredibly diverse. These diversities however are hidden. At first glance Ruffalo looks like an average caucasian male from the U.S. But under the surface many cultures are working together to create the incredibly diverse man he is today. 

Uzo Aduba

Uzo Aduba won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for starring in the Hulu miniseries, “Mrs. America.” She has been a very successful actress most of her life. Aduba is only the second person to win an Emmy in both the comedy and drama categories for the same role in 2015 for “Orange is the New Black.”

Uzo Aduba, Receiving her 2020 Emmy Award

Aduba is a Cross Cultural Adult, born in Boston, Mass. U.S.A. to parents who are from Nigeria. Her mother was raised in the Barbados from age of five and that culture was prevalent in Aduba’s childhood. Due to her diverse background, she has a love for all people and has submerged herself into many different cultures. “Growing up, I had a very solid, clear sense of self, in terms of ‘I can do anything, anything is possible.’ And then I stepped into the world and was met with a very different idea about who society thinks I am versus who I believe myself to be,” Aduba said.

Aduba’s Beliefs

She supports being true to yourself and uncovering hidden diversities, the diversities not seen on the outside, but the invisible ones. For example, sexual orientation, which is something you can’t see from the outside. Aduba is a proud LGTBQ advocate, she wants people to feel safe, proud, and loved. In 2017, she received the Point Courage Award from the Point Foundation. The Point Foundation in the U.S. is where financial aid for LGBTQ college aspiring individuals can get scholarships. Throughout her work she has kept one thing in mind: love. While receiving her Emmy, the first thing she did was yell for her mom.

Ruffalo and Aduba are only two of the many Emmy winners that have a hidden diversity. Either from moving often as children or being raised by cross-culture adults. Both have spent their development years observing and immersing themselves in multiple cultures.

Within both speeches each winner thanked their family and loved ones. Ruffalo states, “That’s what’s great about America, our diversity, and the one thing I’ve learned from my family is that we’re stronger together, when we love each other and we respect each other’s diversity,” during his Emmy speech. Diversity and acceptance/love go hand in hand. Without one we could not have the other. That is why the two Emmy winners address both while accepting their awards.

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