The Television Critics Association Awards this year nominated only women and people of color for best actors in television.
The TCA, a community of more than 200 professional TV critics and journalists from the U.S. and Canada, does not distinguish their annual acting awards categories by gender—a policy that sets theirs apart from other awards ceremonies and allowed it to nominate a majority of women in both acting categories this year. “This was truly a landmark season for diversity in television,” the organization said in a press release, “and the TCA nominations reflect this. Our members have chosen a variety of series that celebrate and represent a wide spectrum of performances.”
The nominees for Individual Achievement in Drama are all women with the exception of Sterling K. Brown for “This Is Us”: Carrie Coon for “The Leftovers” & “Fargo,” Claire Foy for “The Crown,” Nicole Kidman for “Big Little Lies,” Jessica Lange for “Feud: Bette And Joan,” Elisabeth Moss for “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Susan Sarandon for “Feud: Bette And Joan.” Individual Achievement in Comedy nominees include Pamela Adlon for “Better Things,” Kristen Bell for “The Good Place,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus for “Veep,” Issa Rae for “Insecure” and Phoebe Waller-Bridge for “Fleabag.”
Currently, some of the most celebrated shows on television showcase diversity: “The Handmaid’s Tale” focuses on women living within a dystopian military dictatorship, “Orange is the New Black” features multiracial inmates and the plot of “Transparent” revolves around a transgender woman. Recent changes in network leadership, like the hiring of Channing Dungey as head of the entertainment for ABC TV, and efforts by groups like the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition to diversify television have led to shows with more diversity and nuance that celebrate a wider variety of identities.
There is a far way to go in the realm of media representation and diversity, but TCA’s nominees list shows us that the future of television is female, multiracial and even queer.