As the demand for diversity continues to surge in Hollywood, the nominations for the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards reflect the shifting of tides with a significant number of nominees of color, according to the Television Academy’s nominations list released on Tuesday, July 28.
Critically acclaimed shows like FX’s Pose, “Insecure” (HBO), “Euphoria” (HBO) and “Ramy” (Hulu) that are both helmed by people of color and promote diverse storytelling nabbed multiple nominations each, securing mainstream television as an achievable platform for people of color.
Among the Filipinos who are nominated include transgender actress Rain Valdez who was nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for her work on “Razor Tongue,” a web series that “explores the complexities of finding a voice of self-love in a world filled with misogyny and discrimination.”
“Being a Filipina American transgender woman in this category is an honor and a long time coming. There is so much talent in my communities,” Valdez wrote in an Instagram post.
Valdez, who created the seven-episode series, has also starred (and has a producing credit) in the groundbreaking Amazon dramedy “Transparent.” In 2016, Valdez also co-wrote and co-directed “Ryans,” a short-form romantic comedy that centers and normalizes the diverse community of trans women and their unique dating struggles.
The Los Angeles-based creator also founded ActNOW, which claims to be “the first and only acting class” that prioritizes “a safe space for LGBTQIA actors and teaches beyond the binary.”
In an interview with Vice News in 2016, Valdez celebrated the emergence of more trans and non-binary creatives in mainstream entertainment, sharing her struggles as a trans woman of color early in her career: “I lived stealth for a very long time and for fear being “found out.” I would sometimes turn down auditions; I had quit acting altogether because I was afraid of what would happen if/when I became successful.”
She went on to say, “I was already struggling as an Asian American female in an industry that’s controlled by men; I thought that if I came out as trans, then I would be adding another label: Asian American trans female.”
While the number of Filipino Americans on-screen remains relatively low, the community of them in creative, behind-the-camera roles not only continues to thrive and grow, but also continues to be recognized.
Among the other Filipinos nominated for the 72nd Emmy Awards include: Chad Hugo, record producer and member of The Neptunes and N.E.R.D., for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for “The Black Godfather” (Netflix); Ben Bulatao, editor, for Outstanding Picture Editing for an Unstructured Program for “Deadliest Catch” (Discovery); costume designer Zaldy Goco for Outstanding Costumes For a Variety, Non Fiction or Reality Program for “Ru Paul’s Drag Race”; and art director Henry Deleon for Outstanding Main Title Design for “Carnival Row” (Amazon).
The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards will air Sunday, September 20 on ABC.