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The Emmys: television meets politics

Lily Marchetto, Section Editor

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In a politically charged climate, televisions shows, music and movies can often be an escape from the hostility that fills the country. They give people something to connect with and enjoy together, regardless of political views. However, when stars have the opportunity to stand before the nation without a script, Hollywood and Washington almost inevitably clash. The latest battlefield was the 69th annual Emmy Awards, hosted by Stephen Colbert.

The awards show honoring everyone’s favorite shows began with Colbert’s monologue, which quickly moved from quips about the nominees to jests about one of Colbert’s favorite targets, President Donald Trump.

“And we all know the Emmys mean a lot to Donald Trump because he was nominated multiple times for Celebrity Apprentice, but he never won,” Colbert said. “Why didn’t you give him an Emmy? I tell you this, if he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president.”

Colbert went on to mock the President’s tweets and then, like Katy Perry at the MTV Video Music Awards, Trump’s loss of the popular vote.

“But he didn’t [win an Emmy],” Colbert said. “Because unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote.”

Jaws dropped when former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made an appearance on his podium, and all eyes moved to Melissa McCarthy who has impersonated Spicer on NBC’s Saturday Night Live several times.

Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Comedy Series. She often performs impressions of Hillary Clinton on the show, and McKinnon gave Clinton a special shoutout at the end of her acceptance speech.

“I want to say thank you to Hillary Clinton, for your grace and grit,” McKinnon said.

Some took the opportunity to recognize groups that face discrimination. Lena Waithe, co-writer of the “Thanksgiving” episode of  Master of None, addressed the LGBTQ community during her acceptance speech.

I see each and every one of you,” Waithe said. “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.”

Later, Riz Ahmed won the Emmy for Best Actor in a Limited Series or a Television Movie for his role in The Night Of.

“If this show has shone a light on some of the prejudice in our societies; Islamophobia, some of the injustice in our justice system, maybe that’s something,” Ahmed said.

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