It would be most fitting the year the EMMYs boasted its most diverse group of nominees (nearly 50 BIPOC in the acting categories alone), two of television’s most prized figures – RuPaul and Debbie Allen – would make history for becoming the most awarded male and female acts of color in the ceremony’s 73-year history.
With 21 nominations across her 40+-year career, actress/director/producer/choreographer Debbie Allen was already listed in EMMY history books as the most nominated Black woman. Among all women, only Julia Louis Dreyfus and Cloris Leachman have more nods.
Entering the 2021 EMMYS, Allen was up for multiple awards including Outstanding Television Movie and Outstanding Choreography for Scripted Programming (which she won). Add to that, she was also presented The Governors Award – the highest award presented by the ATAS (Academy of Television Arts & Sciences). She is the first Black woman to ever receive this honor.
Together, those awards push her career total wins to 6 – breaking past Regina King and Alfre Woodard as the most-awarded female EMMY winner of color.
With 16 nominations to his credit, RuPaul ranked fourth among the most nominated Black men in EMMY history (only Joe Earle, Donald Morgan, and Chris Rock have more).
Nabbing the ‘Outstanding Competition Program’ EMMY for the top-rated reality show, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ at the 2021 ceremony Sunday night, the win marks RuPaul’s 11th trophy. Breaking a tie with Morgan for most career wins, Rupaul – at 60-years-young – is now the most-decorated person of color overall in the award show’s history.
1. These queens are WERKING it.
2. This 👏 Speech 👏
— CBS (@CBS) September 20, 2021