For Your Consideration: 'OITNB'

by Aly Semigran

Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren quickly became one of our favorite television characters to emerge over the past year and the actress who plays her on Orange is the New Black, Uzo Aduba, has quickly become one of our favorite new stars. Not only is the breakout star a versatile actress, but she is just as powerful off-screen as she is on. Case in point: the OITNB star wrote an plea to Emmy voters (via The Hollywood Reporter) about why her diverse, talented co-stars deserve recognition this awards season, not only for their work, but for the statement it would make about the industry.

"As the excitement of TV's biggest night draws closer, it's crucial that we examine the cavernous absence of diversity and full inclusion in the TV awards conversation. The industry long has avoided the subject, perhaps even ignored it!" begins Aduba, who also penned an awesome essay in this month's issue of Cosmopolitan about learning to accept, and love, her gap tooth. "With Orange, the mix of women — black and Latina, white and Asian, transgender, gay, straight — reinforces a new reality: Their stories matter, too," she writes for THR.

Aduba cites the shocking stats that "the last series with a non-white cast to win the comedy Emmy was The Cosby Show in 1985," and "the last woman of color to take the comedy actress prize was Isabel Sanford (The Jeffersons) in 1981." The actress urges that, while nominations for women of color like Scandal's Kerry Washington is a step in the right direction, with the "groundbreaking impact of Orange Is the New Black, it's time for Emmy to not only redefine what a winning comedy is but also what 'Emmy worthy' looks like."

We couldn't agree more. Not only does the Netflix series (whose second season will, at long last, become available for streaming on Friday, June 6) have one of the most diverse and female-driven casts out there, but it also boasts some of the best performances and characters. Honestly, if Emmy voters heed Aduba's call and nominate any of the Emmy worthy women of OITNB, they could completely dominate the category. (In 2004, the women of Sex and the City nabbed three of the four spots in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category.)

While it's nearly impossible decide which actress is the most award-worthy of the bunch (Taylor Schilling, arguably the least worthy of the ensemble, was the only one to earn a Golden Globe nod last year, interestingly enough) we narrowed down our picks for who should get an Emmy nomination and the scenes that would make for one hell of an Emmy reel. Including, of course, Uzo Aduba.

Laverne Cox

Not only would Cox's nomination be a victory for the transgender community, but her performance as the kind-hearted inmate Sophia Burset is worthy of one.

Emmy worthy moment: After a difficult Thanksgiving confrontation with her wife Crystal, Sophia gives her her blessing that she can move on and begin dating a man she's been interested in.

Danielle Brooks

Sure, Taystee is often OITNB's comic relief ("This ain't The Help, bitch!") but there's so much more to her than that. A great friend and ally, Taystee is the one you'd want on your side. Plus, she's just so damn funny.

Emmy worthy moment: After reuniting with her best pal Poussey, Taystee, with her pride aside, explains how hard life was for her outside of prison, and why life makes so much more sense to her on the inside.

Kate Mulgrew

The tough-as-nails Red ran the show...until she didn't. Red's power struggles with her fellow inmates, and the walking nightmare that is Pornstache were as compelling as they were humbling.

Emmy worthy moment: When she breaks down after blaming herself for Tricia's tragic death.

Uzo Aduba

One of the most heartbreaking characters of the bunch, Suzanne is an inmate with a history of mental illness who, despite her often manic exterior, has love in her hear for her family, for literature, and for friends.

Emmy worthy moment: When she asks Piper why everyone calls her "Crazy Eyes."

Constance Shulman

Yoga Jones brings some much needed zen to Litchfield prison, but there's also some serious pain behind those sad, sweet eyes. And really, who wouldn't want to hear Patti Mayonnaise give an Emmy speech?

Emmy worthy moment: When Yoga Jones tell the devastating story of why she's in prison: she accidentally shot and killed a little boy.

Michelle Hurst

The takes-no-bullshit Miss Claudette is an avid reader, a clean freak, and a headstrong woman with a tragic past.

Emmy worthy moment: When she's reunited with an old friend, who just happens to be the only visitor she's had during her entire time in prison.

Oh, Who Are We Kidding? The Whole Damn Cast

Images: Netflix