Casting For Change

The 67th edition of the Emmy Awards, which recognises and honours excellence in primetime television, wrapped up last Sunday. I wat...




The 67th edition of the Emmy Awards, which recognises and honours excellence in primetime television, wrapped up last Sunday. I watched it , primarily to see if any of the shows I’d written about in this column would win an award – Wolf HallBrooklyn Nine-NineBetter Call Saul and Empire, were all nominated, but unfortunately, none of them won.
The Emmys this year had its moments, but the most important of them was Viola Davis receiving the award for best lead actress in the drama series, How To Get Away With Murder. Davis is the first African-American woman to win this award, and she quoted Harriet Tubman, one of the most important African-American humanitarians who worked tirelessly for abolitionism during the American Civil War, in her emotional acceptance speech. “In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line, but I can’t seem to get there no-how. I can’t seem to get over that line.” Davis went on to say that the only thing separating women of colour was opportunity, and that you couldn’t win Emmy awards for roles that were “simply not there”.
Davis’ rousing speech comes at a time when Priyanka Chopra is poised to make a leap from Bollywood into American television, as the lead in Quantico, a new series that premieres this weekend.
 Read more about my thoughts on Quantico, and how it could affect the way Indians are cast in mainstream American television, here.

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