Netflix's The Crown and Apple TV+'s Ted Lasso were among the big winners as the Television Academy presented its 2021 Emmy Awards on Sept. 19 in Los Angeles. While the Academy had drawn praise for the number of nominees of color announced last July, most of those nominees went home empty-handed, drawing the ire of a number of entertainment commentators.
Only a handful of LGBTQ performers and personnel behind LGBTQ-themed material did win, among them bisexual actor Gillian Anderson, who was among the winners from The Crown, on which she portrays Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She dedicated her award to a longtime manager. Saturday Night Live performers Kate MacKinnon, who is lesbian, and Bowen Yang, who is gay, lost to Hannah Waddington and Brett Goldstein, respectively; Waddington and Goldstein both appear on Ted Lasso. Yang presented actor Jean Smart with her Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Emmy for the HBO Max series Hacks, which features bisexual performer/writer Hannah Einbender. Hacks won for Outstanding Comedy Series, but Einbender lost in the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category.
The FX series Pose, which concluded its run in June, was nominated for its third Best Dramatic Series Emmy but lost to The Crown. Trans actor Mj Rodriguez, the first trans Emmy nominee, lost to Olivia Cole (who won for The Crown) while gay actor Billy Porter lost to Josh O'Connor (also for The Crown). Host Cedric the Entertainer joked about Porter's outfits early in the broadcast. "I saw him on the red carpet one year and he was dressed like a chandelier at the White House," he said.
Ewan McGregor won Best Actor in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or Movie for his portrayal of gay designer Halston in his eponymous Netflix biography. McGregor thanked lesbian producer Christine Vachon and openly gay director Daniel Minahan in his speech.
RuPaul meanwhile reached a new milestone Sept. 19. He is now the Black performer with the most Emmys, having taken home an 11th statuette for RuPaul's drag race. "Come on to Mama Ru," he exclaimed during his speech.
Additional LGBTQ presenters included lesbian actor Sarah Paulson, queer actor Beanie Feldstein and gay actor/writer Dan Levy, who was joined by his Schitt's Creek co-stars.