In 69 years, there have been only three Emmy winners of South Asian descent.
That short list won’t be getting longer any time soon. This year’s nominations — which were announced this morning — did not include no South Asians, even though several of them were eligible.
The nominations for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced this morning by actors Samira Wiley and Ryan Eggold. Every year, the Emmys honor the best of the TV world, from acting to direction to cinematography.
In honor of the nominations being announced, this week’s Throwback Thursday throws it back to the times when South Asians have won Emmy awards.
British actress Panjabi took home the Emmy award for the Best Supporting Actress in 2010 for her excellent performance as private investigator Kalinda Sharma in “The Good Wife.” In her acceptance speech, Panjabi emphasized the importance of developing well-rounded characters for woman of color.
2. Riz Ahmed
Ahmed is only the second South Asian after Panjabi to win an acting award in 69 years of the Emmy awards, scoring the trophy for his performance as Nasir Khan in “The Night Of.” He won in 2017 in the Best Actor in a Limited Series TV Movie. In his acceptance speech, Ahmed gave a shoutout to the South Asian Youth Action and Innocence Project.
You can watch his speech here.
3. Aziz Ansari
Ansari won an award in 2017 along with his “Master of None” co-star Lena Waithe for writing the episode “Thanksgiving,” which focuses on Waithe’s on-screen character Denise and how she comes out to her mom. Ansari is embroiled in controversy over the last few months but “Master of None” gave a platform for South Asian and other minority stories. “The things that make us different, those are our superpowers,” Waithe said while accepting the award.