*As if her own groundbreaking win at the Emmys wasn’t enough cause for celebration, “Orange is the New Black” star Uzo Aduba, the first to win back to back supporting actress Emmys in different categories for the same role, spent some time backstage gushing over her fellow African American nominees.
“I thought it was really exciting to see Regina King – on a show which I watched and thought was so exceptional, ‘American Crime’ – get up there, and who was so lovely and so gracious, and has been a force and a talent for decades now. To see her received in such a beautiful way I thought was so exciting.
“Additionally, I thought that Viola [Davis], who has been a tour de force, not only in television and film, but on the stage as well. And to see her recognized for a job well done on a show like ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ was incredibly exciting.”
The Netflix star speaks about the overall diversity at the Emmys below:
On Tuesday morning (Sept. 29) Aduba joined her “Orange Is the New Black” castmate Dascha Polanco and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s” Tituss Burgess on an Advertising Week panel about diversity on TV.
The actors all agreed that their shows, as well as network programs like “Empire,” “Black-ish” and “Fresh Off the Boat,” do represent positive steps in the right direction, but that television has a long road ahead to achieve full diversity.
Here are excerpts of Aduba’s comments from the panel, per Time.com:
On whether ‘Orange Is the New Black, if it premiered in 2015 instead of 2013, would still need to cast an attractive, white female lead to gain traction: “I would answer with a very solid ‘I don’t know,’ leaning into ‘Probably.’ I think it would be perhaps foolish, I might say, or presumptuous, to believe or assume that in three plus years of television, all the progress that needed to be made had been conquered in that time through a singular show…I think that in time we might get there. If that’s the desire of television, I think that we will get there.”
On how we can expect TV to change in the next five years: “Audiences are ready for the truth and whatever that truth might look like, physically, internally… It’s really exciting to see now that television is investing in the truth, authentic representation as an extension of that, and writers are actually excited by that. And I think what’s really wonderful is that audiences themselves are finding themselves excited by it.”