Emmy Awards 2021: ‘The Crown’ and ‘Ted Lasso’ Emerge as Big Winners

The biggest names in television once again gathered on the red carpet in Los Angeles on Sunday for the 73rd Emmy Awards.

The in-person show, which took place with provisions in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, saw streaming service Netflix snagging its first award for best drama for The Crown.

Who were the big winners?

The top winner of the evening was period drama The Crown, based on the life of Queen Elizabeth II. The Netflix show took home the ceremony’s top award, outstanding drama series, while Olivia Colman, who plays the queen in the most recent seasons, took home the top award for lead actress in a drama series. The actress expressed surprise at the win, saying during her acceptance speech, “I would have put money on that not happening.” Her on-screen son, Josh O’Connor, who plays a young Prince Charles in the series, also took home the lead actor award.

“I’m at a loss for words,” said Peter Morgan, the creator and writer of the British royal saga. The Crown also collected awards for writing and directing in addition to four acting honours.

As with last year’s Emmy Awards, Netflix was one of the evening’s biggest winners, taking home a total of 44 awards, equal to the broadcast network record set back in 1974, by CBS. The Queen’s Gambit, also by the streaming service, won in the outstanding limited series category.

Another streaming giant, Apple TV+ celebrated several big wins this year. Upbeat comedy Ted Lasso, won the prize for outstanding comedy series, with lead actor Jason Sudeikis, taking home Lead Actor, Comedy prize for his role as the unlikely American coach of a soccer team in the UK.

“This show’s about families and mentors and teammates, and I wouldn’t be here without those things in my life,” said Sudeikis while accepting the award.

The award for lead actress in a comedy went to Jean Smart for her role in the HBO series Hacks. While receiving her award to a standing ovation, she paid tribute to her late husband, Richard Gilliland, who died six months previously.

Biggest loser of the night?… Diversity

Despite increased scrutiny of the dominance of white actors and directors in television and film awards, entertainment reporters noted a lack of diversity in this year’s award winners.

None of the winners in the top 12 acting categories were people of colour. Although there were a record number of nominees of colour, only two of the winners were Black, including RuPaul for RuPaul’s Drag Race and Michaela Coel for I May Destroy You.

Diversity and inclusion had been important themes in the run-up to the ceremony. While the Academy Awards have long struggled with #OscarsSoWhite criticism, the annual Emmys have been more inclusive. Around 44% of this year’s nominees were BIPoC (Black, Indigenous and People of color).

Who hosted?

This year’s festivities were hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, known for his vibrant style.

He kicked off the show with a musical, hip-hop tribute to the power of television with a rendition of Biz Markie’s ‘Just a Friend’.

What were the COVID-19 requirements?

After holding a largely virtual show last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s ceremony took place in person — but with precautions in place.

Concerns over the spread of the delta variant prompted organisers to move the show to an outdoor tent in LA, with a guest list capped at around 500 people.

Guests were allowed to attend provided they showed proof they’d been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Still, footage from the red carpet and inside the tent showed celebrities sitting closely together and posing maskless.

Actor Seth Rogen poked fun at the lack of social distancing, joking from the stage that “there are way too many of us in this little room.”

“They told me this was outside. Why is there a roof?” he joked.

This article was first published on DW.

Featured image: The cast and crew members of comedy series Ted Lasso pose for a picture with their awards at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, September 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni