Jeffrey Tambor Wins Lead Actor In A Comedy At The Emmys For 'Transparent,' & His Speech Is So Important
Rejoice, fans of Transparent, and watch out Jimmy Kimmel! On Sunday, just as Kimmel predicted in his opening monologue, Jeffrey Tambor won Lead Actor in a Comedy at the Emmy awards, and his speech was just as poignant as you'd expect. His win says a lot about the state of television in a world where basically every show seems to be Emmy-winning quality, and yet Transparent still manages to stand out. And, by rewarding a show like Transparent, the Emmys are casting a light on such an important issue — the need to celebrate transgender people and their stories.
The nominees this year also included Aziz Ansari in Master of None, Thomas Middleditch in Silicon Valley, Will Forte in The Last Man On Earth, and Anthony Anderson in Black-ish. That's a pretty impressive list, representing actors from network to cable and streaming sites alike. It would have been nice to see Andy Samberg, Billy Eichner, Randall Park, Chris Messina, and Jerrod Carmichael nominated, too — but this is a strong group nonetheless.
When Tambor's win was announced, presented by James Corden, nobody was surprised, but everyone seemed thrilled. Arrested Development fans might've even caught the actor high-fiving Tony Hale, his former TV son, in a sweet moment. There weren't any bits in the actor's acceptance speech — that's typically something that the ladies of comedy put together when wrangled by 2016 Emmy Winner (finally) Amy Poehler. But it was still a big moment to celebrate, as the honor is Tambor's second Emmy for Transparent.
"What they take away," Tambor began, referring to the trophy that was given to him earlier on in the show and then jokingly removed. "May I be very, very clear about something? There is no Best Actor. OK? I'm so honored to be in this category with these artistic killers." He thanked the cast, talking about how the experience would be "lesser" without them. "To [creator] Jill Soloway, you changed my life. You changed my life. You changed everything."
Then, he ended with a plea that is very important to the subject of his series. "You creative sparks — please give transgender talent a chance," he said, referring to Hollywood execs. "Give them an audition. Give them their story. I would be happy if I were the last cisgender man to play a transgender woman. We have a lot of work to do."
So, so true. While shows like Transparent are able to "topple the patriarchy," as creator Jill Soloway said, in their own way, there still is a major lack of representation in Hollywood. Hopefully, Transparent's wins can help to further this cause.