Tonight’s Emmy Awards will mark a pivotal moment in TV history, and not just because Neil Patrick Harris plans on just skipping the award ceremony entirely and putting on a one-man tap show. Netflix’s House of Cards will be the first strictly-internet show competing for the best drama Emmy, but, more importantly, if Kerry Washington wins for her role as bigtime bosslady Olivia Pope on Scandal, she would be the first African American actress to win the best actress in a drama Emmy. Ever.
That’s a huge deal, maybe even a huger deal than when Halle Berry became the first (and, as of right now, the only) African American actress to win the best actress Oscar for Monster’s Ball in 2003. Television is, especially in America and even more than movies, entertainment for the masses. TV characters are the people Americans let into their homes every night, and yes, that is a very cheesy thing to say, but it’s a huge deal if the woman American TV audiences choose to spend their Thursday evenings with is black. Scandal’s success means that we might not have to wait so long (Cicely Tyson was nominated for Sweet Justice in 1995) until another black woman is nominated for the drama Emmy.
Image via Getty, Jason Merritt