The records show some progression for women of color both in front of and behind the camera.
Some of television’s biggest stars, including Zendaya, Selena Gomez, and Quinta Brunson, made history while scoring Emmy nominations on Tuesday.
Shows like “Succession,” “Ted Lasso” and “The White Lotus” led the nomination pack and are among the many favorites come the Sept. 12 ceremony. While many of the nods were highly anticipated, others broke records when their names made the list.
“Abbott Elementary” breakout star Quinta Brunson was nominated for best actress in a comedy series, outstanding comedy series, and outstanding writing for comedy. That trio makes her the first Black woman to get three nominations for the same comedy show in a single year.
The ABC sitcom’s first season became an instant hit with critics and audiences alike, breaking down walls for what network comedies can achieve in the world of streaming. In total, “Abbott Elementary” walked away with seven nominations.
“Only Murders in the Building” — another freshman comedy success — also made history with its nomination for Selena Gomez. While the former Disney star was snubbed from the acting field, as a producer of the series she landed an outstanding comedy series nomination, making her just the second Latina producer to get recognized in that category.
Fellow former-Disney star Zendaya made history on several fronts with her work on season two of “Euphoria.” She is now the youngest woman to ever be nominated for producing and is the youngest actor to be nominated twice for a leading acting Emmy. These feats follow her 2020 Emmy win, which made her the youngest person to win outstanding lead actress in a drama.
Netflix’s “Squid Game” also broke records, becoming the first non-English language series to land nominations in several top categories, including outstanding drama series. It also landed five acting nominations, as well as nods in technical categories like directing and cinematography.
The slew of acting slots picked up by the South Korean thriller were part of a historic year of recognition for Asian actors at the Emmy Awards. Bowen Yang, Sandra Oh, Himesh Patel, and Nick Mohammed were also represented in the acting lists.
While that shows a progressive trend in Asian representation on television, several reports have noted that overall, diversity among acting nominees was down this year compared to last. On top of that, half of the nominations among actors of color came from just three television shows.
See what others are saying: (People) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Los Angeles Times)
Kathy Hilton Faces Backlash For Mistaking Lizzo as “Precious”
Many found the mix-up to be both fatphobic and racist.
“Real Housewives” star Kathy Hilton is facing heat online for confusing Grammy Award-winning popstar Lizzo with Gabourey Sidibe’s titular character in the 2009 film “Precious.”
Hilton made an appearance on Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live” on Wednesday night alongside her “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” co-star Crystal Kung Minkoff. During the show, they played a game where Hilton, who has become famous on the show for mixing people up, had to identify celebrities based on a photo of them.
Hilton struck out on several stars, including Ryan Reynolds. Viewers were shocked, however, when they witnessed her incorrectly guess who Lizzo is.
“I feel like I do [know her],” the reality star said while looking at a photo of the “About Damn Time” singer. “Precious?”
Cohen, Minkoff, and the crowd laughed in response.
“That is Lizzo,” Cohen clarified.
“She is precious though, Lizzo is precious,” Minkoff said in an attempt to save Hilton from her blunder.
“That’s what I call her, her nickname is ‘Precious’ to me,” Hilton added.
Hilton Faces Backlash
Many online were quick to condemn Hilton for the mix-up, horrified that instead of passing on the question, she offered up the name of a fictional Black character. Sidibe was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Precious.
“When Precious came out, a lot of people used the character’s name as a derogatory label to fuel their fatphobia and to bully,” one person wrote. “So no, I don’t think that it’s funny that Lizzo, home minding her own business, had to watch herself be called Precious in front of millions on live tv.”
“Now, I know Kathy Hilton doesn’t know much, but how the hell did she manage to confuse Lizzo with Gabourey Sidibe?” another person said. “That certainly plays into the ‘we all look alike to them’ trope.”
Some suggested that Hilton may have confused Lizzo for model Precious Lee, but argued that either way, “Kathy was wrong.”
“Whether it was Precious Lee or ‘Precious,’ the fictitious character, guess what? Neither are Lizzo and and ‘I don’t know’ would have sufficed,” one Twitter user wrote. “Black people get confused often. And yes, it’s often racist.”
As Hilton’s mistake began to trend on Twitter, a handful of fans ushered to her defense, arguing that she is known for her confusion and did not mean to offend with her remark.
Still, many believed that was not a strong enough justification.
“These women look nothing alike,” one person said. “It’s unclear why you’re willing to die on this anti-Black, fatphobic hill. Saying ‘Kathy confuses everyone’ is her failing. It excuses nothing.”
According to the Queens of Bravo Twitter account, Hilton responded to an Instagram comment blaming the matter on her poor vision.
“The screen was so far away and my vision is terrible if you recall,” she wrote in the screenshotted comment.
See what others are saying: (Entertainment Weekly) (USA Today) (The Cut)
Jennette McCurdy Explains “Attention-Grabbing” Memoir Title: It’s “Something I Mean Sincerely”
The book sparked public discourse about child stardom and parental abuse after hitting shelves on Tuesday.
McCurdy Speaks to Sincerity of Title
Jennette McCurdy shocked audiences when she announced her memoir would be titled “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” but the former Nickelodeon star says the name comes with good reason.
“I’m Glad My Mom Died” was released on Tuesday to high anticipation. It has already been praised for its vulnerable examination of child stardom and the often dark realities that lurk behind the glamor of Hollywood.
In the book, McCurdy discusses the abuse she faced at the hands of her mother, who forced her into acting at a young age, as well as the abuse she faced on set by a high-power figure at Nickelodeon.
McCurdy’s mother died after a long battle with breast cancer in 2013. She says the title speaks to how she genuinely feels looking back on those events.
“This title, is, I get that it’s attention-grabbing,” McCurdy told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday. “But it’s also something I mean sincerely. I’m not saying it at all in a flippant way.”
“I think that anybody who has experienced parental abuse understands this title and I think anybody who has a sense of humor understands this title,” she continued.
“What do you think your mom would say about it?” host George Stephanopoulos asked.
“I wouldn’t have written the book if my mom were alive,” the former “iCarly” star explained. “I would still have my identity dictated by her.”
Allegations in Memoir
According to published excerpts of the memoir, McCurdy said she grew up striving to please her mother, but has realized in hindsight that much of her mother’s behavior was abusive. When young McCurdy would express that she wanted to quit acting, her mother would respond with sobs, pleading that her daughter loves her career and should continue it.
McCurdy also wrote that when she was eight years old, her mother insisted on wiping her behind after using the bathroom, claiming she did not believe McCurdy could do so correctly on her own. The actress said she experienced similar disturbing behavior through her tweens as her mother bathed and showered her, regularly giving her “breast and ‘front butt’” exams to check for cancer.
McCurdy further alleges that her mother aided her in having an eating disorder when she was just 11 years old. In hopes of fighting off puberty, McCurdy told her mother she wanted to stay small. Her mother suggested they try calorie restriction, cutting McCurdy’s intake to just 1,000 calories per day. Sometimes, McCurdy said she would only eat 500 calories. She felt this restriction brought her closer to and impressed her mother.
After struggling with anorexia for several years, McCurdy later began binge eating and suffering from bulimia.
Through therapy and other coping tools, she learned how to process these traumas and reckon with the truths behind her upbringing.
“My whole childhood and adolescence were very exploited,” McCurdy told The New York Times. “It still gives my nervous system a reaction to say it. There were cases where people had the best intentions and maybe didn’t know what they were doing. And also cases where they did — they knew exactly what they were doing.”
See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (E! News) (Entertainment Tonight)
Minneapolis Venue Cancels Chapelle Performance At Last-Minute, Show Moves to New Theater
The club issued an apology to its staff and supporters, promising to hold itself to a higher standard.
Chappelle Dropped From First Avenue
A famed performance venue in Minneapolis canceled a scheduled show from Dave Chappelle just hours before it began on Wednesday after facing backlash for booking the comedian.
First Avenue posted a statement to its social media accounts announcing that Chapelle would instead be performing at Varsity Theater, which was already set to host him Thursday and Friday. The switch up came as Chappelle has repeatedly faced backlash for making jokes aimed at the transgender community.
“To staff, artists, and our community, we hear you and we are sorry,” First Avenue said. “We know we must hold ourselves to the highest standards, and we know we let you down. We are not just a black box with people in it, and we understand that First Ave is not just a room, but meaningful beyond our walls.”
The club went on to note that its staff and supporters have worked hard to make the venue a safe space.
“We believe in diverse voices and the freedom of artistic expression, but in honoring that, we lost sight of the impact this would have,” the statement continued. “We know there are some who will not agree with this decision; you are welcome to send feedback.”
Protests at Varsity Theater
Varsity Theater followed up by confirming that it would honor First Avenue ticketholders at its doors.
The last-minute decision prompted swift confusion on Twitter from people who wondered why First Avenue waited so long to drop Chappelle. Some speculated that staffers at the venue refused to work the gig, while others pointed to a Change.org petition that said Chappelle is “dangerous to trans people” and argued First Avenue has “a duty to protect the community.”
That petition only collected 126 signatures, but regardless of where the backlash came from, it was severe enough for First Avenue to make the abrupt decision.
According to the Star Tribune, frustrations were significant enough that critics eventually directed their attention to Varsity Theater after it agreed to book Chappelle on Wednesday. Around 40 protesters stood outside the theater before the show started shouting “trans lives matter.”
So far, Chappelle has not released a statement about the theater switch. He has defended himself against accusations of transphobia, and his special “The Closer” — which first prompted the swell of criticism — has since become Emmy-nominated.