75th Primetime Emmy Awards has powerful LGBTQ+ representation

The Peacock Theater, formerly known as Nokia Theatre and Microsoft Theater, is a music and theater venue in downtown LA Live in Los Angeles. ( Photo of main stage courtesy of Peacock Theater)

LOS ANGELES | The 75th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, held at the Peacock Theatre in Los Angeles Jan. 15, saw a triumphant celebration of LGBTQIA+ representation, with notable wins and powerful speeches highlighting the community’s contributions to the entertainment industry.

The night’s standout moment came when RuPaul, host of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” accepted the Emmy for Outstanding Reality Competition Program. With a record-breaking 14 Emmy wins, RuPaul addressed the audience, emphasizing the importance of knowledge and the resistance against anti-drag laws.RuPaul emphasized that attempts to restrict access to knowledge and power are rooted in fear and encouraged people to listen to drag queens, highlighting their valuable perspectives.

“We have released into the wild hundreds of drag queens, and they’re beautiful. If a drag queen wants to read you a story at a library, listen to her, because knowledge is power. And if someone tries to restrict your access to power, they are trying to scare you. So listen to a drag queen,” RuPaul said.

The win marked the series’ fifth in the Outstanding Competition Program category, solidifying its place in Emmy history. RuPaul also made history with his eighth consecutive Creative Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program, becoming the most awarded host in Emmy history.

Diverse LGBTQIA+ Wins

Music legend Elton John also secured his place in history as the newest member of the coveted EGOT club. The accomplished singer-songwriter clinched the prestigious title by winning an Emmy for his extraordinary live concert special, “Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium.”

Elton John’s victory in the Outstanding Variety Special (Live) category marked a remarkable achievement in his illustrious career, spanning over six decades. As an Executive Producer/Performer for the acclaimed concert special, John’s contribution to the world of entertainment has now earned him the esteemed EGOT status.

“Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium” triumphed over formidable contenders, including The Oscars, The Tonys, Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, and Chris Rock: Selective Outrage. The win, although absent of the legendary artist in person, was accepted by other producers involved in the creation of the special.

The term EGOT, coined by Miami Vice actor Philip Michael Thomas, celebrates individuals who have achieved the rare feat of winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. Elton John’s extensive list of accolades includes five Grammy Awards, including a Grammy Legend Award, two Oscars for iconic songs “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King” and “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman,” as well as a Tony Award for Best Original Score for “Aida.”

Niecy Nash-Betts secured her first Emmy for Best Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her role in “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” In a powerful speech, Nash-Betts acknowledged her wife and dedicated the award to Black and Brown women who have faced injustice.

Ayo Edebiri, from “The Bear,” won her first Emmy for Supporting Actress, delivering a heartfelt speech that paid tribute to her parents and celebrated her identity as a Black woman.

GLAAD’s Governors Award

GLAAD, the LGBTQ+ media-advocacy organization, received the Television Academy’s 2023 Governors Award for its impactful work in promoting fair, accurate, and diverse representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the media. President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis emphasized the personal nature of their work, citing the influence of media on societal perceptions.

“The world urgently needs culture-changing stories about transgender people,” Ellis said. “Visibility creates understanding and opens doors, it’s life-saving. Our community has achieved so much, and yet, we are still being victimized and villainized with cruel and harmful lies. Sharing stories is the antidote.”

As the LGBTQIA+ community continues to make strides in the entertainment industry, these Emmy wins stand as a testament to the power of diverse storytelling and representation.

The National LGBT Media Association represents 13 legacy publications in major markets across the country with a collective readership of more than 400K in print and more than 1 million + online. Learn more here: NationalLGBTMediaassociation.com.

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