Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez, Billy Porter, and POSE make history with 73rd Annual Emmy Award nominations!

By Jeremy Blacklow, Director of Entertainment Media GLAAD.org | July 13, 2021

The 73rd annual Emmy Award nominations were announced Tuesday morning and POSE received 10’s across the board from Television Academy voters!

Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez made history with her nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Blanca in the FX series POSE, as the first out transgender actor or actress nominated in a lead acting category. Billy Porter received his third nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for POSE. Steven Canals received a nomination in Outstanding Directing For a Drama Series for the series finale of POSE, and Canals along with Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuck, Janet Mock, and Our Lady J, were nominated in Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for the same episode. Lastly, POSE itself was nominated for the second time for Outstanding Drama Series. 

“Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez’s Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series is a breakthrough for transgender women in Hollywood, and a long-overdue recognition for her groundbreaking performance over the past three seasons of POSE,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Additionally, the show’s nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, as well as Billy Porter’s third nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, mark a historic show that undoubtedly raised the bar for trans representation on television and changed the way viewers around the world understand the trans community. As over 40 leading LGBTQ organizations pointed out in our open letter about POSE to Emmy Award voters, representation matters. Congratulations, Michaela Jaé, Billy Porter, and the entire POSE team – the world is standing with you and applauding your talents.”

Joining POSE as nominees for Outstanding Drama Series are the LGBTQ-inclusive series BridgertonLovecraft CountryThe BoysThe Handmaid’s Tale, and This Is Us.

HBO Max’s Hacks and The Flight Attendant, both of which have several LGBTQ characters, were both nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, as well as Hulu’s Pen15.

It was also a breakthrough year for performers of color. According to The Hollywood Reporter, people of color comprise at least half of the spots in the lead drama actor and actress races for the first time in Emmys history. Exactly half of the nominees in the three supporting actor categories are people of color. And Black actors represented three of five nominees in both of their guest categories. Overall, white actors (54 nominations) occupy 56.3 percent of the 96 total acting nods for the 73rd Emmy Awards. Black actors (36), including Afro-Latinx actors, represent 37.5 percent. And four Latinx actors are nominated this year, matching the number of nominees of Asian descent. Last year, only four actors who were nominated were neither white nor Black.

Hannah Einbinder and Carl Clemons-Hopkins in Hacks

Going up against Rodriguez for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series is Emma Corrin, who played Princess Diana of Wales on the most recent season of The Crown. Corrin recently described herself as identifying as queer on Instagram. In the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy category, non-binary actor Carl Clemons-Hopkins and gay actor Bowen Yang were nominated for their work on Hacks and Saturday Night Live respectively. Yang made history on two fronts; not only was he the first Chinese American male acting nominee, but he also is the first Saturday Night Live featured player to receive a nomination. Queer actor Hannah Einbinder was nominated in Outstanding Supporting Actor for playing a bisexual character on Hacks, as well as Kate McKinnon for her work on SNL. Out actor Dan Levy was nominated for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for hosting SNL

Emma Corrin Michael K. Williams received a nomination in Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for playing gay character Montrose Freeman in Lovecraft Country. Out actor Samira Wiley was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama for playing lesbian character Moira in The Handmaid’s Tale. Alexis Bledel was also nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for playing lesbian character Emily in The Handmaid’s Tale.

I May Destroy YouThe Queen’s Gambit, and Mare of Easttown, all of which also had queer characters were nominated for Outstanding Limited on Anthology Series. The GLAAD Media Award-winning film Uncle Frank received a nomination in Outstanding Television Movie. ABC News journalist Robin Roberts was nominated for Outstanding Television Movie for Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia.

Ewan McGregor was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited on Anthology Series or Movie for playing gay fashion designer Halston in the self-titled Netflx show. Out actor Jonathan Groff was nominated in Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology series for playing King George in Disney+’s filmed version of the Broadway musical Hamilton. Also nominated in that category was Paapa Essiedu for playing gay character Kwame in I May Destroy You

For reality television, Queer Eye was nominated in Outstanding Structured Reality Program, RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked was nominated in Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program, and RuPaul’s Drag Race was again nominated for Outstanding Competition Program. 

Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, and Jonathan Van Ness were nominated for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program for Queer Eye, as was RuPaul for RuPaul’s Drag Race.

queer eye season 5

Pose: Identity, Family, Community was nominated in Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series. The Randy Rainbow Show was nominated in Outstanding Short Form Comedy, Drama, or Variety Series. Out actor Brendan Scannell was nominated in Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama for his role as gay character Pete in Netflix’s Bonding. Out performers Keke Palmer and Paula Pell were both nominated in Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for their roles in Keke Palmer’s Turnt Up With the Taylors and Mapleworth Murders respectively. 

A Black Lady Sketch Show and Saturday Night Live, both of which have queer cast members and writers, were nominated in Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, as well as Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series.

Big Mouth was nominated for Outstanding Animated Program. The nominated episode, titled “The New Me,” was the first to introduce Natalie, the trans character played by Josie Totah. Tituss Burgess was nominated in Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his work in Central Park. Marc Shaiman was nominated for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for the song “The End Titles” from the YouTube live streaming event Soundtrack of our Lives: A Celebration for the Film & TV Music Community, benefitting the MusiCares® COVID-19 Relief Fund.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-0UOv6lOwmICongratulations to this year’s incredible group of LGBTQ and LGBTQ-inclusive Emmy nominees!

The nominations were announced by 72nd Emmy-winning father-daughter duo Ron Cephas Jones and Jasmine Cephas Jones. 

The 73rd Annual Emmy Awards will take place on Sunday, September 19th, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. They will air on CBS and stream on Paramount+. They will be hosted for the first time by Cedric the Entertainer.