Normally when we think about women at the Emmy Awards, many people may immediately think about red carpet coverage of the most extravagant and luxurious outfits. While this is one plausible reason to tune in to the annual awards, this year, the monumental strides made by women actually receiving awards (while indeed wearing arguably equally monumental outfits) must be acknowledged as well.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, writer and lead actress in the hit show Fleabag, was the star of the night. Waller-Bridge won Lead Actress in a Comedy and her show won Best Comedy Series. The show sheds a new light on women being authentic themselves. While still likeable and relatable, shows like Fleabag give space for female characters to be almost dark, comical, raw, and imperfect. In her acceptance speech, Waller-Bridge exemplified this idea herself when she said, “It’s just really wonderful to know — and reassuring — that a dirty, pervy, angry, messed up woman can make it to the Emmys.”
Waller-Bridge is also credited with the creation of another hit show, Killing Eve. The show’s female lead, Sandra Oh, is the first Asian-American woman to ever be nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Drama series for her role in the show’s season this year. However, her co-star, Jodie Comer, won the award which is another win for creator Waller-Bridge and therefore all females in the film production and writing business. Not only did Oh represent Asian-Americans at this year’s awards, but When They See Us star Marsha Stephanie Blake was the only woman of color nominated in any supporting acting category the whole night.
Michelle Williams, Emmy winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series, summed up the accomplishments of the night when she said, “I see this as an acknowledgement of what is possible when a woman is trusted to discern her own needs, feels safe enough to voice them, and respected enough that they’ll be heard.”