Opinion: The Emmys should have actually given awards to black actors instead of pretending to in a comedy skit

Did anyone else know The Emmy Awards happened this weekend? I certainly didn’t. Until I saw a Huffington Post headline that read “The ‘Reparation Emmys’ Was Exactly What This Emmy Awards Needed.” I was intrigued. I read the article. I watched the “Reparation Emmys.” I was unimpressed.

‘Reparation Emmys’ was a skit that comedian and Emmys host Michael Che performed during the show. During the skit, Che gives out these “reparation awards” to amazing black television comedians like Marla Gibbs of “The Jeffersons,” John Witherspoon of “The Wayans Bros,” Kadeem Hardison of “A Different World” and Jaleel White of “Family Matters.”

“As a black comedian, for so many years our TV legends and heroes have gone unrecognized,” Che said. “So, this year as host, I took it upon myself to finally right some of those wrongs.”

Honestly, the skit was really funny, but the idea that it alone has saved The Emmys from “appearing out of touch,” as that Huffington Post article suggested, is pretty wack. Especially considering the fact that, once again, there was barely any representation for black folks this year. Only one award was won by a black actress, despite popular shows with predominantly black casts like “Atlanta,” “Grownish” and “Insecure” receiving critical acclaim.

The Emmys making fun of itself for consistently not giving awards to black people does not make it okay for the show to continue to not give awards to black people. It’s like they’re saying, “Hey black people, if you’re really good at something, we’ll snub you at award shows but don’t worry we’ll pretend to give you the recognition you deserve on random streets of New York City.”

Maybe one day black drama and black humor will be accepted by the Television Academy, but until that happens, the organization should stray from poking fun at its own perpetuation of racism and underrepresentation in the arts industry.

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