Many people following the road to the Emmys had Kerry Washington pegged to win on Sunday night. It would have been a huge moment for the actress, as this would have been her first Emmy win. It goes without saying Washington’s win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series would have also acted as a huge win for diversity, as Washington would have been the first African-American actress to take home this award for her category.
Unfortunately, the award didn’t go to Washington for her work on Scandal and instead went to Claire Danes, a fourth-time winner, for her role in the hit show Homeland. So what went wrong? It’s hard to figure out how Washington was snubbed by the Emmys.
Even during the ceremony, it seemed as though the Emmys were setting her up for a great acceptance speech. Before her category was even announced, Kerry Washington took the stage, hand in hand, with prolific African-American actress Diahann Carroll.
The two spoke about how television acted as a medium that broke down doors for people of color, and Carroll even mentioned how she was the first African-American woman to lead her own series. If that not-so-subtle hint to Washington’s inevitable win wasn’t enough, it was Carroll, seconds later, that declared Washington “better win” the lead actress in a drama Emmy.
Sadly that did not happen at all. It seems to be one of the worst snubs, given that they led Washington’s category up by giving the two ladies a platform to talk about diversity in television. Putting the Emmy ceremony aside, critical acclaim didn’t lead in favor of Claire Danes either. It seems as though no one was happy with Homeland this season, but everyone was getting on board to see Washington act as Olivia Pope in Scandal.
The only answer we can offer is that once Emmy voters realized how historical the nomination was, they decided not to buck towards the popular opinion about how much this would mean for African-Americans on television. Instead of declaring that Washington deserved to win for her work on Scandal, most of the attention after her nomination focused on her race, and that might have cooled voters on Kerry.
Fans were shocked about Kerry Washingston Emmys loss and took to Twitter to express their thoughts.
Washington’s co-star Scott Foley tweeted his disappointment, having said: “Congrats to..wait..oh. Bummer.”
Shonda Rhimes took a different approach on Twitter, having said: “Gonna get some wine and some popcorn and put on my white pajamas and just be fierce all over my living room. #gladiatorsdontcry
Do you believe Kerry Washington was snubbed at the Emmys? What do you think went wrong?