BRITISH Asian actor Riz Ahmed won his first Emmy for portraying a man who falls foul of the US judicial system in HBO’s crime limited series The Night Of.
Ahmed, who has become the first south Asian actor to win an acting gong, said in his acceptance speech, “It’s always strange reaping the rewards of a story that’s based on real world suffering, but if this show has shown a light on some of the prejudice in our society [like] Islamophobia, some of the injustice in our justice system maybe that’s something.”
Other winners on the night were Aziz Ansari and African American co-writer Lena Waithe who won an Emmy for comedy writing for the Master of None episode Thanksgiving.
The Handmaid’s Tale and political comedy Veep won the top prizes at the ceremony last night (17), while satirical sketch show Saturday Night Live won the most Emmys overall on the back of a season of Donald Trump spoofs.
The new US president, who never won an Emmy despite his reality show past, was also the butt of multiple jokes at the ceremony honoring the best of television.
“If he (Trump) had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president,” host Stephen Colbert told the A-list audience.
“It’s your fault! He never forgave you and he never will. But unlike the presidency, the Emmys go to the winners of the popular vote,” Colbert quipped, referring to the 2016 election result.
Alec Baldwin won the comedy supporting actor Emmy for his withering impersonations of Trump for Saturday Night Live on the Comcast Corp’s NBC.
In the first major awards wins for streaming service Hulu, The Handmaid’s Tale star Elisabeth Moss was named best drama actress for playing a woman forced into sexual servitude. The show also won awards for writing, directing and for supporting actress Ann Dowd for a total of eight.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her sixth consecutive Emmy for playing a female egotistical presidential candidate on HBO’s Veep, one of the few repeat winners.
“We did have a whole storyline about impeachment, but we abandoned that because we were worried that someone else might get to it first,” said Louis-Dreyfus, accepting her trophy.
Sterling K Brown won best dramatic actor for his role as an African-American who is adopted into a white family in heart-tugging NBC family drama This Is Us.
Donald Glover, won the best comedy actor and also director for his hip-hop themed show “Atlanta.”
In a crowded limited series category, HBO’s murder mystery Big Little Lies came out on top, winning eight Emmys including for best series, for Nicole Kidman’s abused wife character, for Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgard, as well as for writing and directing.
Kidman said the show “was created out of frustration because women weren’t getting great roles. So now, more roles for women, please!”