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'White Lotus,' Sheryl Lee Ralph among 2022 Emmy winners
by Matt Simonette
2022-09-13

This article shared 570 times since Tue Sep 13, 2022
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Unless they were among the cast, crew and staff of The White Lotus, members of the LGBTQ+ community were few and far between among the winners at the Television Academy's 2022 Emmy Awards, which were distributed Sept. 12 at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.

Bisexual writer/director Mike White did take home Emmys for Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Directing and Outstanding Limited Series for The White Lotus, the six-part comedy-drama series he created for HBO. That program details the trials and tribulations of guests and employees of a fictional resort in Hawaii.

During his acceptance speech for his writing Emmy, White invoked his stint on the reality series Survivor, where he competed in 2018, urging Academy members not to "vote him off the island" now that he has won some awards.

A longtime film- and television-industry veteran, White wrote the 2000 LGBTQ+ film Chuck & Buck and mainstream comedies such as Orange County and School of Rock. His father, whom he mentioned to be "struggling," is Mel White, a minister and former speechwriter for several prominent religious right figures. Mel ultimately came out as gay in 1994.

Openly gay Australian actor Murray Bartlett won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for The White Lotus as well. He plays the White Lotus resort's manager, Armond. He has played a number of gay roles over the years, such as in Moana and was then Michael "Mouse" Tolliver in Netflix's 2019 reboot of Tales of the City, as well as Oliver, a vapid buddy of Carrie Bradshaw in arguably one of Sex and the City's gayest episodes, "All that Glitters," from its fourth season.

During his acceptance speech, he thanked his partner—whom he called his "sanctuary"—as well as Mike White.

He also thanked his mother in "for giving me the most wonderful foundation of unconditional love and inspiring me to believe we can all do that for each other."

Jennifer Coolidge also won her first award ever—Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie—for her turn on The White Lotus. A longtime favorite with LGBTQ+ audiences, Coolidge had memorable roles in Best in Show, as a trophy wife who ultimately pairs off with Jane Lynch's character, and the Legally Blonde films, among many other film and television roles.

Openly lesbian actor Sarah Paulson was nominated for a lead role in limited series for Impeachment: American Crime Story, but lost to Amanda Seyfried, who won for The Dropout.

Among the milestones Sept. 12 was the breaking of RuPaul's winning streak for his longtime competition program, RuPaul's Drag Race. The 2022 winner for Best Competition Program went to Lizzo's Watch Out for The Big Grrls. In her speech, Lizzo implored the industry to tell diverse stories in its work, recalling that as a child she wanted to see representations of people "fat like me, Black like me [and] beautiful like me."

Saturday Night Live's Bowen Yang—who is openly gay and appeared in the Hulu film Fire Island—lost in the Best Comedy Supporting Actor category to Brett Goldstein for Ted Lasso. It was Yang's second nomination; his first nomination last year made him the first Chinese American to be nominated in the category.

Yang's former Saturday Night Live colleague, Kate MacKinnon, who left the program in 2022, was nominated as well. She lost to Sheryl Lee Ralph for Abbott Elementary, as did bisexual actor Hannah Einbinder. Ralph (a longtime AIDS activist) pretty much stole the whole show Sept. 12 by singing part of her Emmy acceptance, then adding, "This is what believing looks like. This is what striving looks like, and don't you ever give up on you."

Gay comedian Jerrod Carmichael received two nominations—one for hosting Saturday Night Live, the other for the writing of his HBO comedy special Rothaniel. He won in the latter category.

"I made something that was of great personal consequence to me, and this definitely contributes to the meaning of it," Carmichael said. He wore a white fur jacket that he claimed was previously worn by Puff Daddy.


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