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LGBTQ performers and stories among 2020 Emmy nominations
by Matt Simonette
2020-08-04

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Streaming services and cable networks were well-represented among the Television Academy's 2020 Emmy nominations, which were announced July 28. Netflix led the pack with 160 nominations, followed by HBO, which had 107.

LGBTQ programming and creative personnel were most prominent amongst streaming and cable offerings; major networks got a minute number of nods associated with LGBTQ material in major categories, thanks largely to the final season of Will & Grace, which received five nominations.

The final season of the popular comedy Schitt's Creek received 15 nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series; Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series; Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Eugene Levy); Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Catherine O'Hara); Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (openly gay series co-creator Dan Levy); and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Annie Murphy). Schitt's Creek received four nominations last year, but ultimately took home no Emmys.

Among LGBTQ-related nominees for Netflix series were lesbian actress Holland Taylor for her portrayal of Ellen Kincaid in openly gay executive producer Ryan Murphy's series Hollywood, which received 11 other nominations. Openly gay actor Jim Parsons was also nominated for his portrayal of Henry Willson in Hollywood. Bette Midler also scored a nomination for her work as a political staffer on another Ryan Murphy series, The Politician, which received four other nods.

Tituss Burgess earned another nomination for his portrayal of Titus Andromedon in this year's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend. The reality series Queer Eye scored seven nominations, including a nod for hosts Karamo Brown, Anton Porowski, Tan France, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness.

Tiger King—which picked up much online buzz in the early days of the U.S. COVID-19 lockdown—received six nominations, including Outstanding Documentary.

Murphy's FX series Pose received five nominations, including another for previous winner Billy Porter's portrayal of Pray Tell. However, co-stars Indya Moore and Angelica Ross, on social media, bemoaned the fact that no trans actresses received nods.

Meanwhile, VH1's RuPaul's Drag Race scored 10 more nominations this year, including Outstanding Competition Program and Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program.

Jodie Comer was nominated for another turn in BBC America's Killing Eve, which is driven by the subtext-fueled relationship between Villanelle (Comer) and Eve (Sandra Oh). Among the 10 nominations for Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale were Samira Wiley and Alexis Bledel, who both portrayed lesbians struggling to survive in a tyrannical reactionary regime. Openly lesbian actor Cherry Jones—who won last year for a guest turn on The Handmaid's Tale—received a 2020 nomination for a guest-starring role on HBO's Succession.

The Emmys will be presented Sunday, Sept. 20, on ABC.


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