Long-time actress Regina King shared how she REALLY felt about the 62nd Annual Prime Time Emmy awards in an open letter. According to her, not only did they publish pictures of actress Rutina Wesley and say it was her, but they have also snubbed black actors over the years with no sign of improvement ahead.
In Regina’s letter, she begins by addressing the obvious: When it comes to minorities on the small screen, something is not right in Hollywood. She wrote:
Since the Emmy ceremony, I have been going back and forth about whether or not I should compose this letter. I try hard in my daily life not to engage in uncomfortable situations regarding race. But sometimes it’s very difficult to find other reasons that better explain why certain events play out the way they do. It is impossible for me to ignore the published statistics regarding the number of people of color mentioned, celebrated or honored in the history of the televised Emmys. Up to and including this year, there have been only 53 non-white actors nominated for Emmys out of nearly 1,000 possible nominations in the top four acting categories for drama and comedy.
I’ve worked in television nearly all of my professional life, and that statistic is quite sobering to me. And to add injury to my already sensitive nerve endings a picture of Rutina Wesley from True Blood, who attended this year’s Emmys, had a caption that read: “Regina King enters the 62nd Emmys.” No, I wasn’t there. Mistakes happen, right? Well after a few “mistakes” of how people of color are portrayed in the Hollywood media, I decided it was important to say something about how things go down in Hollywood.
Regina went on to chide The Emmy’s for failing to include long time minority actress Alaina Reed in their memoriam of great contributors to television. Reed played opposite Regina on 227 as family friend Rose and spent 12 years as Gordon’s friendly wife on Sesame Street. She died of cancer late last year.
Other black actors were also snubbed by the Emmy’s this year. However, the snubs didn’t come as a shock considering the fact that previous critically-acclaimed series, “The Wire,” which also boasted a mostly African-American cast, only earned two nominations during its six-year-run.
According to Variety, since 1986, non-white actors have received only 53 nominations out of nearly 1000 in the top four acting categories for drama and comedy. Only eight have ever won.