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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, ‘Big Little Lies’ sweep the Emmy awards with five wins each

Aziz Ansari shared the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the episode ‘Thanksgiving’ in ‘Master of None’.

Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the episode Thanksgiving in the Netflix series Master of None. The Emmys took place on Sunday night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. Comedian and TV personality Stephen Colbert was the host.

Waithe is the first black woman to have been nominated in the category, and thus became the first black woman to win an Emmy Award for writing a comedy series. She thanked the LGBT family in her speech: “I see each and every one of you. 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 without us in it.” She ended her speech by thanking all for embracing “a little Indian boy from South Carolina [Ansari] and a queer black girl from the south side of Chicago”.

The Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale, based on the Margaret Atwood novel, and the HBO series Big Little Lies won five Emmys each. The Handmaid’s Tale won awards for Best Drama, Best Actress – Drama (Elisabeth Moss) and Best Supporting Actress – Drama (Ann Dowd) among others. Big Little Lies won the Best Limited Series and Best Actress – Limited Series or TV Movie (Nicole Kidman) awards.

Atwood received a standing ovation when she got on stage to join the cast and crew. The 10-episode series is based on Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel which deals with a future in which women are considered wombs by a totalitarian government.

Donald Glover won two Emmys: for acting and directing awards for the comedy series Atlanta (FX). He is the first black actor to win in the directing category. “I want to thank Trump for making black people number one on the most oppressed list,” Glover joked in his acceptance speech. “He’s the reason I’m probably up here.”

Netflix’s Stranger Things and HBO’s Westworld failed to win any awards despite having five and seven nominations respectively. Another fan favourite, The Crown (Netflix), won just a single award (John Lithgow for Best Supporting Actor – Drama) from among five nominations.

HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and NBC’s Saturday Night Live won the Best Variety Talk Series award and Best Variety Sketch Series award respectively. Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump impersonations paid off as he walked away with the Best Supporting Actor – Comedy award.

Alec Baldwin's backstage speech.

Riz Ahmed won the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie award for the acclaimed series The Night Of, beating Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert De Niro, Ewan McGregor, Geoffrey Rush, and John Turturro. In his acceptance speech, the British Pakistani actor said, “I want to say it is always strange reaping the rewards of a story based on real-world suffering, but if this show has shown a light on some of the prejudice in our societies, some of the injustice in our justice system, then maybe that is something.”

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