Emmys 2015: A Night of Thrones, Women – and Jon Hamm

by HFPA September 21, 2015

It was a banner year for HBO, a breakthrough moment for Game of Thrones and a long-delayed victory for Jon Hamm. But, above all, the 67th Primetime Emmys, handed out last night, September 20, in Los Angeles, was a landmark moment for women, especially African American women, so often underrepresented or typecast on TV (and movies).

With eight Creative and four Primetime Emmys – including the top prize of Best Drama Series for Game of Thrones – HBO established a new record, surpassing The West Wing’s nine Emmys collected in a single year. Not counting acting and directing trophies, HBO took home Emmys in all key categories: best drama series, Game of Thrones; best comedy series, Veep; best limited series, Olive Kitteridge; best TV movie, Bessie.

With its old opponent Breaking Bad out of the way, Game of Thrones bagged not only the top award, but also Emmys for supporting actor (and Golden Globe winner) Peter Dinklage (his second); writers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss; and director David Nutter. Likewise, thrice Golden Globe nominee Veep took the top Emmy in the comedy department, adding trophies for lead actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus; supporting actor Tony Hale; and writers Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche. Golden Globe nominee Olive Kitteridge won through and through, with the whole top cast, plus writer Jane Anderson and director Lisa Cholodenko winning Emmys.

In two of the night’s most emotional moments, Jon Hamm finally took home the Emmy that had eluded him since the first season of the multiple Emmy and Golden Winner Mad Men. In his emotional acceptance speech, Hamm thanked “the people to whom I owe this incredible debt. Families – who have chosen for some reason to take me in and be nice to me along this strange, strange road." Hamm dedicated his Emmy to ex-girlfriend Jennifer Westfeld and their dog Cora.

Moments later, fan favorite Viola Davis walked on stage to collect her lead actress, drama Emmy for How to Get Away with Murder, becoming the first African American woman to win in that category. In her passionate acceptance speech Davis drove home the point of underrepresentation of women, especially women of color, in the entertainment industry: “Let me tell you something: the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity”, she said. “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”

The night would come to an end with an admirable string of victories by women of color and women-centric titles: from Bessie to Olive Kitteridge; from Inside Amy Schumer, best variety sketch series, to Veep, best comedy series; from Golden Globe nominee Uzo Aduba, best supporting actress, drama series, for Orange Is the New Black to Regina King, best supporting actress, limited series or movie, for American Crime.

Could the times be changing, moving towards more diversity and inclusiveness in the industry? Let’s hope so.

Ana Maria Bahiana

Emmy Winners, 2015/ Main Categories

LIMITED SERIES: Olive Kitteridge


VARIETY TALK SERIES: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

VARIETY SKETCH SERIES: Inside Amy Schumer

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY: Allison Janney, Mom

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY: Tony Hale, Veep

LEAD ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE: Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge

LEAD ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE: Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE: Regina King, American Crime

SUPPORTING ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE: Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge

WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for Game Of Thrones, “Mother’s Mercy”

WRITING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL: Jane Anderson for Olive Kitteridge

DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SERIES: Chuck O’Neil for The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, “Show 20103”

DIRECTING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL: Lisa Cholodenko for Olive Kitteridge

DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES: Jill Soloway for Transparent, “Best New Girl”

WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES: Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche for Veep, “Election Night”

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES: Game of Thrones

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES: Veep

LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA: Jon Hamm, Mad Men

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA: Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder

TELEVISION MOVIE: Bessie

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA: Peter Dinklage, Game Of Thrones

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA: Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black

DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES: David Nutter for Game Of Thrones, “Mother’s Mercy”

Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder
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Jon Hamm in Mad Men
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Peter Dinklage in Game Of Thrones
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Uzo Aduba in Orange Is the New Black
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Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in Olive Kitteridge
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Amy Schumer in Inside Amy Schumer
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John Hale and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep
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Frances McDormand in Olive Kitteridge
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Jeffrey Tambor in Transparent
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Allison Janey in Mom
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Regina King in American Crime
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