Emmy diversity gets a boost from Ricky Martin, Issa Rae - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Emmy diversity gets a boost from Ricky Martin, Issa Rae

(HBO via AP). This image released by HBO shows Issa Rae in a scene from "Insecure." Rae was nominated Thursday for an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series. The 70th Emmy Awards will be held on Monday, Sept. 17. (HBO via AP). This image released by HBO shows Issa Rae in a scene from "Insecure." Rae was nominated Thursday for an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series. The 70th Emmy Awards will be held on Monday, Sept. 17.
(Jeff Daly/FX via AP). This image released by FX shows Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace in a scene from "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story." Cruz was nominated Thursday for an Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a limit... (Jeff Daly/FX via AP). This image released by FX shows Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace in a scene from "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story." Cruz was nominated Thursday for an Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a limit...
(Jeff Daly/FX via AP). This image released by FX shows Ricky Martin in a scene from "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story." Martin was nominated Thursday for an Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or movie. Th... (Jeff Daly/FX via AP). This image released by FX shows Ricky Martin in a scene from "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story." Martin was nominated Thursday for an Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or movie. Th...
(Ray Mickshaw/FX via AP). This image released by FX shows Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan in a scene from "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story." Criss was nominated Thursday for an Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a limited serie... (Ray Mickshaw/FX via AP). This image released by FX shows Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan in a scene from "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story." Criss was nominated Thursday for an Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a limited serie...
(Guy D'Alema/FX via AP). This image released by FX shows, from left, Lakeith Stanfield, Donald Glover and Brian Tyree Henry in a scene from the comedy series "Atlanta." The program was nominated for an Emmy on Thursday for outstanding comedy series. Th... (Guy D'Alema/FX via AP). This image released by FX shows, from left, Lakeith Stanfield, Donald Glover and Brian Tyree Henry in a scene from the comedy series "Atlanta." The program was nominated for an Emmy on Thursday for outstanding comedy series. Th...

By LYNN ELBER
AP Television Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Sterling K. Brown and Donald Glover aren't such Emmy outliers this year.

More than a third of the 101 acting nominations for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards went to ethnic minorities, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. That's up from a quarter of the field last year, when Brown ("This Is Us") and Glover ("Atlanta") won top acting awards.

Both men are nominated again, along with noteworthy first-timers including Latino actors Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz for "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story," Tiffany Haddish for "Saturday Night Live," Issa Rae for "Insecure" and John Legend for "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert." Darren Criss, who is of Filipino descent, was also nominated for "American Crime Story."

Sandra Oh, the Canadian-born actress of "Grey's Anatomy" fame, became the first nominee of Asian descent in the leading drama actress category. Oh, who earned five supporting actress bids for "Grey's," has earned critical praise for her role as a spy hunting a female assassin in BBC America's "Killing Eve."

"I think we're all happy with the direction we're going. This is the most diverse class of performer nominees we've had ... which is fantastic," Maury McIntyre, TV academy president, said Thursday after the nominations for the Sept. 17 awards were announced.

Only one of this year's categories, supporting actor in a drama, lacked any performers of color. In three categories, more than half the field are minorities.

That includes supporting actor in a comedy series, with black actors Tituss Burguss ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"), Brian Tyree Henry ("Atlanta") and Kenan Thompson ("Saturday Night Live") and Tony Shalhoub ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"), of Lebanese descent, competing with Louie Anderson ("Baskets") Alec Baldwin ("Saturday Night Live") and Henry Winkler ("Barry").

In 2017, the nominations showed significant gaps in Emmy progress. "Master of None" star Aziz Ansari, who is of Indian heritage, was the sole Asian-American to be nominated for a continuing series lead or supporting role. Not a single Latino was included in the marquee acting categories.

The hard-won progress made by the African-American stars and makers of shows including "black-ish" and "Atlanta" has brought them creative influence and visibility that Latinos and Asian-Americans, America's first and third largest ethnic groups, respectively, are still aiming to achieve. The three ethnic groups make up a combined 37.2 percent of the U.S. population, according to U.S. Census figures.

The TV industry has faced pressure to change in recent years, including from a multi-ethnic civil rights coalition formed after major networks fielded a fall 1999 slate of new shows with only white stars. Networks and producers have taken steps to boost opportunities, but with uneven results.

Leonard James III, chair of the NAACP Image Awards committee, said last year that a long record of fighting for civil rights is behind the significant African-American gains.

"We've been engaged with the Hollywood community for 100 years," James said, including NAACP-led protests against D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation" in 1915, just six years after the organization was founded. "I think you're beginning to see some of that work get very positive results."

___

AP Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu in New York contributed to this report.

___

Lynn Elber can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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