2015 Emmy Nominations Are A Victory For Women

I can't even believe that I'm saying this right now, but I'm actually ... happy with Thursday's 2015 Emmy nomination announcement? Though not every deserving actor, actress, and TV show's name was announced during the event, the 2015 Emmy nominations were a total victory for women in Hollywood. And that alone is enough to actually make me wonder if awards season is finally looking up when it comes to diversity amongst those recognized for their hard work. I know, I know — I shouldn't get my hopes up. But how can I not, just a little, when everyone from Taraji P. Henson to Viola Davis to Amy Schumer to even Tatiana Maslany was awarded an Emmy nod?! I'm only human, guys, OK?

Yes, you read that correctly, and no, you are not dreaming. When it came to women being recognized for their work in Hollywood this year, the Emmys delivered in a way that, honestly, I didn't quite expect.

Case-in-point: In the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama series, Davis was recognized for her groundbreaking role as Annalise Keating in ABC's addictive How To Get Away With Murder. Henson was recognized for her amazing turn as Cookie Lyon in FOX's equally addictive Empire. Lily Tomlin was recognized for her role as Frankie Bergstein on Netflix's Grace and Frankie. Orange Is The New Black received an Outstanding Comedy Series nomination (Uzo Aduba also received a separate nomination for her role as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren on the series). Schumer, whose comedy consistently breaks down stereotypes and gender barriers, was recognized for her work on Inside Amy Schumer, while the series itself even received two nods for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series and Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series. Maslany, who has consistently been snubbed by the Academy for her work as a million (OK, more like eight, but same thing) characters on BBC America's inclusive, diverse drama Orphan Black, even got a nomination!

That's just the tip of the iceberg, too. Across all categories, the pool of actresses who received a nomination was a diverse one, even ranging in age.

I'm sure it's clear right off the bat that this is huge news. Henson and Davis' nominations are important in particular because their characters are complex, not stereotypical, and basically the definition of a female anti-hero. Schumer's nomination is important because of how honest her comedy is when it comes to how women are treated, not just in Hollywood, but in the world. And Maslany's nomination is important because oh my God, it's seriously about time. Plus, it's no secret that awards shows often ignore nominees who are older, or a race other than caucasian.

But it's important to also note that this could be indicative of a great trend for the coming awards season. As Bustle's own Michael Arbeiter pointed out in February, the Emmys are historically the worst awards show when it comes to diversity amongst nominees. Though there's still work to be done when it comes to being truly inclusive of actresses of all ages, races, and gender identity (I was slightly disappointed not to hear Gina Rodriguez or Laverne Cox's names during the nominations), this is a huge improvement compared to the past 20 years, and that's important.

It won't be clear for a while whether or not this is a good omen for the upcoming Golden Globes and Academy Awards. But for now, I'm certainly content to revel in these nominations and take them as a major victory for women everywhere, and I hope I'll be singing the same tune when the Emmy awards air on September 20.


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