Leadership

How these 6 award winners just made history at the Emmys

Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe pose in the press room at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater.
Jason LaVeris | Getty Images
Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe pose in the press room at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater.

On Sunday night, America celebrated one of the year's most highly-anticipated award shows: the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. While Hulu and Netflix earned a historic amount of awards as streaming services, history was also made thanks to the numerous awards diverse actors and actresses took home.

Here are six winners to make Emmy Awards history:

Sterling K. Brown

"This Is Us" actors Ryan Michelle Bath (L) and actor Sterling K. Brown, winner of the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for 'This is Us', attend the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
Kevin Winter | Getty Images
"This Is Us" actors Ryan Michelle Bath (L) and actor Sterling K. Brown, winner of the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for 'This is Us', attend the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

Second-time Emmy award winner Sterling K. Brown became the first black actor to earn the outstanding lead actor distinction in nearly 20 years for the NBC drama series, "This is Us." This follows Andre Braugher's 1998 win for "Homicide: Life on the Street," Variety reports.

In his Emmy "Thank You Cam" video, Brown gives a special shout-out to "This Is Us" creator Dan Fogelman.

"You bare your soul on the page, you make us laugh and cry in equal amounts and you keep us coming back for more in your own little way," Brown said. "You're not trying to make America great again, you're trying to make it better than what it's ever been."

Elisabeth Moss

Elisabeth Moss (R), winner of the awards for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for 'The Handmaid's Tale' attends Hulu's 2017 Emmy After Party at Otium.
Todd Williamson | Getty Images
Elisabeth Moss (R), winner of the awards for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for 'The Handmaid's Tale' attends Hulu's 2017 Emmy After Party at Otium.

Elisabeth Moss won her first set of career Emmy awards as outstanding lead actress in a drama series and for outstanding drama series, thanks to her roles in Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale."

As one of the show's producers, Moss notably helped Hulu score its first Emmy, beating Netflix and Amazon as the first streaming site to win an Emmy for best drama series.

Based off of Margaret Atwood's bestselling novel, the feminist dystopian narrative of "The Handmaid's Tale" has lent itself to comparisons of today's fight for women's rights.

In an interview with The New York Times in August, Moss noted that she feels "a huge sense of pride" in the character she portrays, as "these women are out there on the front lines, going to the places where the laws and the legislation are actually being decided. They're taking risks, and they're exercising their right to protest, and they are the true heroes."

"Margaret Atwood, thank you for what you did in 1985 and thank you for what you continue to do for all of us," Moss said in her acceptance speech.

Though previously nominated seven times for her roles in "Mad Men" and "Top of the Lake," this marks her first set of career Emmy wins.

Riz Ahmed

Actor Riz Ahmed poses in the press room at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater.
Jason LaVeris | Getty Images
Actor Riz Ahmed poses in the press room at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater.

Riz Ahmed became the first South Asian man to win an Emmy for acting thanks to his lead role in HBO's "The Night Of." Prior to Ahmed, the only other South Asian actor to receive an Emmy for acting was Archie Panjabi for her role in 2000's "The Good Wife, reports The Washington Post.

"It's always strange reaping the rewards of a story that's based on real world suffering," Ahmed said, "but if this show has shone a light on some of the prejudice in our society, xenophobia, some of the injustice in our justice system, then maybe that's something."

This marks the 34-year-old British actor's first Emmy Award win. Earlier this year, he was named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people.

Donald Glover

Donald Glover wins two Emmy Awards for FX Network show "Atlanta" at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards.
Emma McIntyre | Getty Images
Donald Glover wins two Emmy Awards for FX Network show "Atlanta" at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Donald Glover not only won his two very first Emmy awards in his career, but he also became the first African-American to win the award for directing a comedy. He earned both awards for his work on his FX Network show "Atlanta."

Glover teased President Donald Trump during his acceptance speech, thanking him "for making black people number one on the most-oppressed list," he said.

"He's probably the reason I'm up here," Glover joked.

Lena Waithe

Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe pose in the press room at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater.
Jason LaVeris | Getty Images
Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe pose in the press room at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater.

Lena Waithe became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing. Along with Aziz Ansari, the 33-year-old actress in Ansari's Netflix series "Master of None" received the distinction for writing the "Thanksgiving" episode in the latest season.

In "Thanksgiving," Waithe's character comes out to her family and struggles with their reaction, which transforms as she gets older.

On stage, Waithe gave a shout out to her "LGBTQIA family," noting "the things that make us different, those are our superpowers."

"Every day, when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren't in it," Waithe said. "For everybody out there that showed us so much love for this episode, thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a little queer black girl from the southside of Chicago. We appreciate it more than you could ever know."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

"Veep" actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses in the press room at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater
Jason LaVeris | Getty Images
"Veep" actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses in the press room at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater

For the sixth year in a row, Julia Louis-Dreyfus won an Emmy award for outstanding lead actress in a comedy for HBO's "Veep." This marks a new record for most Emmy awards won by one performer for the exact same role.

"Veep," a political satire, has won previous Emmy awards the past few years as well. Louis-Dreyfus says she hopes the many female Emmy wins last night were a sign of changes in Hollywood.

"Let's hope this is the beginning of something even better in our country — and in the world — because I think the world would be a better place if more women were in charge," she said.

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