Did You Really Think Kerry Washington Would Win The 'Lead Actress In A Drama Series' Emmy?

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
September 23, 2013 10:17 AM
82 Comments
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Apparently, a lot of folks really did, if reactions on social media sites last night are any indication. 

Words like "snubbed," "fuck the Emmys," and "robbed" were used quite a bit, after Claire Danes' name was called to collect her trophy for winning the Lead Actress In A Drama Series Emmy award, the same category in which Kerry Washington was nominated.

Even her Scandal co-star, Columbus Short, joined in the consternation stating, on Twitter:

Robbed. Robbed I tell you. ROBBED. @kerrywashington is without question the MOST OUTSTANDING. Well see you next year Emmys. @scandalabc

And there were so many others, both celebrities and fans of the series, commiserating.

I wasn't expecting her to win, I'm sorry to say. Not because I don't appreciate Kerry's talents as an actress in general, but competition in that category was strong, and, as I noted in a previous post, while I wouldn't say her chances of winning were slim, I did impress upon you just how tough her competition was: Connie BrittonClaire DanesMichelle DockeryVera FarmigaElisabeth Moss, and Robin Wright. Most of them star in TV series that already have a history of critical acclaim and awards behind them, like HomelandMad Men, and Downton Abbey; or series that immediately drew acclaim after they initially aired, like House Of Cards and Bates Motel.

Scandal can't claim either, unfortunately. 

No matter how rabid fans of the series have been since its debut, it still hasn't quite reached critical darling status (in the same way the other series I mentioned above have), which is, in effect, a strike against Kerry. Just take a look at the list of past Primetime Emmy awards winners in the acting categories. You'll notice that, the nominees and winners are almost always in dramas or comedies that are also nominated for Best Drama and/or Best Comedy. It's been a rare occurrence when an actress wins the Emmy in any of the leading acting categories - in this specific case, Lead Actress In A Drama Series - and the show she stars in isn't at least nominated. 

Going back the last 13 years to 2000, winners in the Best Drama Series category have included critically-acclaimed series like Homeland, The Good Wife, Mad Men, Damages, The West Wing and The Sopranos; And the list of winners in the Leading Actress In A Drama Series category have included names of actresses who star in those series, like Claire Danes, Julianna Margulies, Glenn Close, Eddie Falco, Allison Janney, and others.

Not that there haven't been instances in which an actress has won in that specific category, even though the series she starred in wasn't nominated in its category (see Kyra Sedgwick in 2010, winning for The Closer, which wasn't nominated in the Best Drama Series category), but, as I noted, it's a rare occurrence when this happens, meaning, the odds were heavily against Kerry Washington winning.

Fans might argue that Scandal should've been nominated in the Best Drama Series category; in response I'll say, that's obviously above my paygrade. Take that up with the Emmys if you feel the show is strong enough to compete with the likes of Mad MenBreaking Bad, Game of Thrones, House of Cards and others. I would say it's definitely not, which isn't a popular opinion around here, I'm sure. But, really, it's just not as strong as those other series folks!

It doesn't mean it couldn't be, however.

Also keep in mind that cable TV dramas continue to dominate when it comes to original scripted programming during awards season. Scandal is on network TV.

And it's worth noting that a Shonda Rhimes-created series has been nominated just twice. Grey's Anatomy was nominated in the Best Drama Series category in 2006 and 2007, but it didn't win in either year.

So, ultimately, the point here is that Kerry's chances of winning were slim, given all that was stacked against her.

Another year in TV history passes, and a black actress still hasn't won the Leading Actress In A Drama Series Emmy award. It has never happened, and we'll have to wait until next year to see whether it will. As it currently stands, given all the new shows premiering this season, it looks like Kerry will likely be the only black actress considered in that category in 2014.

On Twitter, Washington thanked series creator Shonda Rhimes: 

“WOW! Im so grateful &humbled…I’ll spend the rest of my life saying this and it won’t ever be enough but... THANK YOU @shondarhimes XOXOXOX”

By the way, Don Cheadle (who was nominated in the Lead Actor In A Comedy Series category - his 6th nomination total) didn't win either. And neither did Alfre Woodard, who I thought provided the best opportunity for a black actor to win an Emmy last night; she was nominated for her performance in Steel Magnolias, in the Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie category. I didn't feel that competition in that category was all-that strong.

And last, but not least, Paris Barclay, who was nominated in the Directing For A Comedy Series category, for directing Diva, the thirteenth episode of Glee's fourth season, didn't win either.

So no black nominees in any of the major categories won last night. Ho-hum.

I'm sure there'll be the usual articles lamenting the lack of diversity in terms of nominees and eventual winners - a waste of time in my humble opinion. We can't expect there to be diversity during awards season, when there's no diversity in the shows themselves, which is where it starts. So until that changes, expect more of the same during each upcoming awards season.

Also look to black TV networks like BET as potential homes for TV comedies and dramas that will eventually provide better opportunities for black talents to shine when TV awards seasons come around each year. BET is not quite there yet (unless you're willing to make the argument that a show like The Game is Emmy-caliber material); but I like the strides the network is making, specifically its original scripted programming push recently. 

Although some would argue that we shouldn't look to the Emmys to recognize black talent and ability. After all, BET has its own awards show, as does the NAACP, where black performance is acknowledged and feted. 

But for many, that's simply not nearly enough, and there's still much work to be done.

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82 Comments

  • Mike MacDonald | April 18, 2014 12:04 AMReply

    Come on people Kerry Washington in Scandal is not acting, she's overacting. There's a big difference.

  • Chloe | February 5, 2014 9:17 PMReply

    I can't make this about race but I have to say as a huge fan of House of Cards, Scandal is FAR FAR FAR better! The writing on this show is just CRAZY! It has you liking people that you would never like in "real" life and feeling so many emotions every episode you need therapy afterwords! I find it really crazy that Shonda has never won an Emmy for either show. I actually am not mad about Kerry not winning, but the actors that play Huck and Papa Pope should win an Emmy FOR SURE. I've never been in love with a serial killer before, thank you Guillermo!!!!

  • Jay jay | November 15, 2013 9:36 PMReply

    Hollywood loves black children, but not black adults except their tokens. So many awesome
    Black actors/actresses just age out of the program get little or no work in their prime adult years some are brought back when they are old. BUT I have to say this!. We are a culture and we make GREAT MOVIES, but most let other powers control the production. I realize that WE though not all, are to blame for our lack of support in everything for OUR culture. I saw a movie recently called "Anna Lucasta" with Ertha Kit and Sammy Davis Junior. All the colors of our cultural rainbow were in this movie and it made me go -what happened to us? Why did so many of us, stop watching us? Take the old black films for instance, which are fantastic and packed with incredible talent. All the genres of black film. From then to now. Keisha Knight, Kirk Taylor, Michel Jai White list goes on and on til after the break of dawn - talent just going to waste. Wish we could get a new horizon on our culture.....

  • Tony T | January 12, 2014 4:05 PM

    No she should not even be nominated. Too many excellent performances on cable.

  • wooooozee | November 3, 2013 11:57 AMReply

    i'm down for most of these theories but I see Hollywood's preference for giving folks awards for playing "crazy" characters more than I see a snub. as much as i love her in scandal, Kerry's not doing the kind of heavy lifting claire does on homeland. imho

  • wooooozee | November 3, 2013 11:57 AMReply

    i'm down for most of these theories but I see Hollywood's preference for giving folks awards for playing "crazy" characters more than I see a snub. as much as i love her in scandal, Kerry's not doing the kind of heavy lifting claire does on homeland. imho

  • Nate | October 30, 2013 12:34 AMReply

    Mainstream awards shows are tools to further the careers of mainstream (white) talent, creatives, agents, producers and production companies. Like any other mainstream entity the idea/goal is to maintain and perpetuate mainstream culture- not yours. If you're spending your life (as a consumer or an artist) waiting for validation or acceptance from these entities than you're foolish, misguided and naive. Do your best work- meet and exceed your own standards, get paid as often as you can, live as best you can and stop waiting for people who care little about you or your life to invite you to their party, pat you on the back and say "well done".

  • Nate | October 30, 2013 12:34 AMReply

    Mainstream awards shows are tools to further the careers of mainstream (white) talent, creatives, agents, producers and production companies. Like any other mainstream entity the idea/goal is to maintain and perpetuate mainstream culture- not yours. If you're spending your life (as a consumer or an artist) waiting for validation or acceptance from these entities than you're foolish, misguided and naive. Do your best work- meet and exceed your own standards, get paid as often as you can, live as best you can and stop waiting for people who care little about you or your life to invite you to their party, pat you on the back and say "well done".

  • Nate | October 30, 2013 12:34 AMReply

    Mainstream awards shows are tools to further the careers of mainstream (white) talent, creatives, agents, producers and production companies. Like any other mainstream entity the idea/goal is to maintain and perpetuate mainstream culture- not yours. If you're spending your life (as a consumer or an artist) waiting for validation or acceptance from these entities than you're foolish, misguided and naive. Do your best work- meet and exceed your own standards, get paid as often as you can, live as best you can and stop waiting for people who care little about you or your life to invite you to their party, pat you on the back and say "well done".

  • Nate | October 30, 2013 12:34 AMReply

    Mainstream awards shows are tools to further the careers of mainstream (white) talent, creatives, agents, producers and production companies. Like any other mainstream entity the idea/goal is to maintain and perpetuate mainstream culture- not yours. If you're spending your life (as a consumer or an artist) waiting for validation or acceptance from these entities than you're foolish, misguided and naive. Do your best work- meet and exceed your own standards, get paid as often as you can, live as best you can and stop waiting for people who care little about you or your life to invite you to their party, pat you on the back and say "well done".

  • Nate | October 30, 2013 12:34 AMReply

    Mainstream awards shows are tools to further the careers of mainstream (white) talent, creatives, agents, producers and production companies. Like any other mainstream entity the idea/goal is to maintain and perpetuate mainstream culture- not yours. If you're spending your life (as a consumer or an artist) waiting for validation or acceptance from these entities than you're foolish, misguided and naive. Do your best work- meet and exceed your own standards, get paid as often as you can, live as best you can and stop waiting for people who care little about you or your life to invite you to their party, pat you on the back and say "well done".

  • Lodis Dinwiddie | October 19, 2013 8:15 PMReply

    "Although some would argue that we shouldn't look to the Emmys to recognize black talent and ability. After all, BET has its own awards show, as does the NAACP, where black performance is acknowledged and feted. "

    The above statement says it all. All black actors and actresses lament the fact that there are very few parts in Hollywood for their talent, and they are correct. So, it stands to reason that to compete with their white opponents in major TV dramas, and Sitcoms, and be expected to win, should not be expected either. Those coveted "Awards", Oscars, Emmys, Tony's, and such like are are reserved for "Whites Only" and even though no one would dare say such a thing, their actions still speak louder than words.

  • terrell | October 19, 2013 4:36 AMReply

    Kerry and Claire were actually neck and neck for winner. Emmys said Claire Beat her out by a couple hundred votes. So she almost got it. Still proud of the nomination. I do think black actors have a ways to go so far as recognition, but definitely not by talent. Some of the best actors of our time are black, (Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Forrest Witaker, Angela Basset, Halle Berry, Samuel Jackson, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, etc.) alot of times black talent ONLY gets recognition from stations like BET and organizations like the NAACP, and thats not even the problem. Black talent is rarely cast in alot of these shows. Steve Mcqueen questioned a panel of white directors on why they dont cast black actors, and they all sat there with poker faces. Its a questioned that constantly goes unanswered. With that said NO i dont think racism is the reason is the reason Kerry didn't win, I do believe that since she's black her performance isnt held to the same regard . I believe the whole show isnt even held to the same regard because shonda rhimes is behind it. But I bet if Vince Gilligan erased shondas name and wrote his, scandal would get wayy more recognition. So no, kerry didnt lose because they didn't want the black lady to win. she lost because her performance wasnt as popular and acclaimed as others.

  • MotownMusicLvr | October 12, 2013 3:49 PMReply

    Bull!

  • ThurzdayNext | October 10, 2013 11:56 AMReply

    May I just say that I find your headline to be condescending. In fact, the entire article goes along the lines of "Sorry you lost, but I'm going to rub your nose in it because I don't like your favorite show. Here are some facts to support my condescension." Case in point, "No matter how rabid fans of the series have been since its debut,...". I am a huge fan of Scandal's - got all my friends in Berlin watching it - but I'm quite certain that none of us are rabid over it. I am also not at all concerned that Kerry Washington didn't win, nor do I think that it was a decision based in racism.

  • Amanda | October 29, 2013 12:31 PM

    I agree the title of this article is both rude and condescending. Even if you dislike the show it is unnecessary to act in a manner that is insulting to your readers. As Black people we can agree to disagree without being disrespectful to one another.

  • LoveforBuzz | October 10, 2013 4:09 AMReply

    I was glad Kerry Washington was nominated. Tatiana Maslany definitely should have been nominated; that Pilot alone was incredible. Julianna Marguiles was snubbed. I think Kerry could have won, but I also think 1) She submitted wrong episode for consideration. Should have been "A crminal, A Whore, an Idiot, and a Liar". The first five minutes of that alone was prime example of Kerry's reason for a nomination and possible win. 2) Claire Danes is an incredible actress with 2 Emmys prior to the one for this year, and the 2nd being for the first season of Homeland. Not to mention add Robin Wright as a contender, not sure Kerry would win even with that episode I suggested. And lets not even think of if Tatiana or Julianna were actually nominated. But Kerry is formidable and she carries that show, so I think she deserves the recognition. And no, no racism. No one in Hollywood believes she didn't win cause of racidm. If anything her ethnicity was an upper hand because there was favor in her being the first lead African-American actress in a TV series in decades and first to be nominated in decades and if she had won the first to win in that category.

  • DS9Sisko | October 8, 2013 3:27 PMReply

    She should not have even been nominated.

  • RMcIntyre | October 6, 2013 5:52 PMReply

    We already saw Halle Berry win for portrayal of a orgasm on screen, I think another sexual relationship would create a pattern we don't want to see. There is better acting and writing out there.

  • Shemitch | September 24, 2013 4:36 PMReply

    To be quite honest, the "snub" wasn't rascism. I never watch The Emmys because is the only award show that usually gives it to the same person or same show every year. There may be a few surprised here and there, but they all awful. Remember, tthese are the clueless people who didn't even want to honor Actors like Larry Hagman and Jack Klugman who both had some iconic roles on television for the In Memorium segment.. They rather honor the addict from Glee who killed himself by od'ing, under the guise of' bring in the youth audience". This is the one time it had nothing to do with race. Clare one last year and she probably will win again next year.

  • Art Clokey | September 24, 2013 1:49 AMReply

    Tambay, do you REALLY think "The Best Man 2" is making over 100 million dolllars??

    Man, I'm still giggling like a schoolgirl off that one.

    Also, Kerry W will win one day. Just not for Scandal.

  • Tyler Perry | September 24, 2013 1:46 AMReply

    Wow, people. "Scandal" is good, but it's soapy foolishness. "Scandal" ain't winning anything sooner than Tyler Perry.

    Well, there's always the NAACP "Image" "Awards" to look forward to (although Kerry will probably lose again to Tyler Perry.)

  • Erm | September 24, 2013 1:59 AM

    Scandal just won the Emmy for outstanding guest actor, dummy.

  • Nadia | September 24, 2013 12:07 AMReply

    Scandal fans love them some Scandal. But here's my question for all those Scandal fans crying racism, saying Kerry should've won hands down: have you seen the other shows and performances she was competing against, so that you can at least make an informed argument? If not, you need to watch them and then let's talk.

  • mylove | September 25, 2013 10:52 PM

    Kiss ass cuz I watch all

  • Tracey | September 24, 2013 1:02 AM

    THIS all day!!

  • Dee dee | September 24, 2013 12:04 AMReply

    As far as award shows WHO GIVES A %&^*! And as far as Kerry Washington not winning....sorry tired to watch more than once and it just doesn't compare to the other nominees. The show is...eh! I am a huge supporter of SHONDA RIMES and everything she has accomplished but this show is sooooo soapy! Almost every show is but this one is just to over the top. I think Kerry is a fine actress but...I am not a huge fan. I love my sisters but I have a hard time watching her. As far as Don Cheadle.. I think the show is fine but never caught on and as far as Alfre Woodard...I have worked with her and I think she is AMAZING but STEEL MAGNOLIAS? ( THE NEW VERSION) ARE Y'ALL SERIOUS!! I watched 5 MINUTES and turned it off!

  • Miles Ellison | September 23, 2013 10:52 PMReply

    Don't hold your breath about BET becoming a producer of quality series. That isn't the mindset of the network or their audience. As for the Emmys, any organization with voters that failed to nominate The Wire at all should not be allowed to hand out awards.

  • Mike | September 23, 2013 9:29 PMReply

    Why the hell are we surprised? Racism is still alive, especially in Hollywood. There are a lot of phony, racists, and bigoted people in Hollywood. I didn't expect her to win simply because of her ethnicity. Had she been a white actress, she would have won hands down. It's very disturbing that people of color (Black and Hispanics especially) continue to take a back seat in television and on the silver screen. It's 2013 yall. wake the hell up and smell the coffee.

  • Oh Please | September 23, 2013 10:49 PM

    " I didn't expect her to win simply because of her ethnicity."

    But her ethnicity IS the reason why you and all the other Scandal-heads want her to win. Much like the true reason for the popularity of the mediocore show.

    If Kerry was white, same acting ability, no one here gives a shit.

  • FactChecker | September 23, 2013 8:57 PMReply

    "Also look to black TV networks like BET as potential homes for TV comedies and dramas that will eventually provide better opportunities for black talents to shine when TV awards seasons come around each year."

    Um, BET is DEFINITELY NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME, Tambay.
    And anyone is fooling themselves if they think a comedy on BET would get an Emmy nod before, say, a scripted show, like Devious Maids, or Drop Dead Diva, on Lifetime. ... I just use those shows as examples of the level of storytelling, characters, and broad interest that a show on BET would have to live up to in order for Emmy voters to even consider -- just consider -- nominating it.

    And, everyone on this board, KNOWS, that the Akils aren't even in Shondra Rhimes territory, when it comes to the creation, and execution, of programming that has broad mass appeal. So don't be stupid and put your eggs in that basket.


    Although some would argue that we shouldn't look to the Emmys to recognize black talent and ability. After all, BET has its own awards show, as does the NAACP, where black performance is acknowledged and feted.

    And while those shows are okay, and nice recognition for our folks, I remember a little brouhaha last year about certain nominees (TP, specifically) who were chastized for having "donated" money to said organization, which basically made it look like payola when his shows received certain awards.

    Additionally, if people are keeping it REAL, we all know that those awards don't lead to white talent agents and executives to track down black talent (whatever your craft) and hire them to work on movies and TV shows. White Hollywood doesn't watch those shows!

    So while those programs are nice, and necessary, acknowledgement of the work that many people of color are creating, and working on, they really don't make a difference in an actor/writer/director/producer's career. ... And remember it's only been in the last decade that there's been (just barely) enough programming written and produced by blacks to fill out the categories. The categories have always been the same as the Emmys (with a touch of Oscars), with the exception that only blacks are recognized.

    And the reason so many of us are so disheartened, of course, is that too much of what is programmed that involves black actors, writers and producers, is so mediocre and too many of our people are OK with that.

    And even though there's a lot of mediocrity in mainstream TV that's aimed at white people (like Honey Boo Boo or The Kardashians) there's far more exceptional, high-quality fare that a large part of their viewing public is choosing to engage in -- and demand.

  • reginald r | September 23, 2013 7:55 PMReply

    yes I think she should won I mean Kerry Washington this is a new America and she is part of it I do not why but what I have seen she is a strong actress in every role she plays a real life play actress she plays the roles like real life she needs to honored for that

  • Kathryn Atkins | September 23, 2013 7:47 PMReply

    Did any Black people win an Emmy last night? I have never seen a TV show get as much Twitter and Facebook chatter as Scandal.

  • ojie | September 23, 2013 7:22 PMReply

    Well, a part of me thought she would and a part of me thought that Claire would and well, just anyone else could have. maybe next year....But at least, she was nominated, which is what matters. It shows that her work is just as relevant as theirs. So, till next year.....

  • Nita | September 23, 2013 6:09 PMReply

    Black actors still have a long way to go. Phylicia Rashad, Alfre Woodward, Diahnn Carrol, and now Kerry Washington. ALL of these women have given award-winning performances at some time in their careers. I'm sure in the history of television shows, at least one African American woman was worthy of winning an Emmy. Even if Kerry W. didn't win, Alfre Woodard has been acting for years, and certainly deserves many Emmy nominations and wins. Also, what about the talented Black male actors, i.e., Don Cheadle, and Ildris Elba. There are no good excuses for this injustice. They shouldn't win because they're black, but because they are GREAT actors.

  • Accidental Visitor | September 23, 2013 5:20 PMReply

    Great writeup, Tambay. I agree with virtually every word. The safest best was always Claire Danes by the way. While I think "Homeland" is overrated (although much better than what I've seen of Scandal), Danes is terrific on that show and is deserving of accolades.

  • NO BRAINER | September 23, 2013 5:28 PM

    I have to agree. Homeland is masterful, like say "The Wire" or "The Sopranos." But it is better than Scandal by far, in my opinion.

  • sagevalentine | September 23, 2013 5:17 PMReply

    I thought that she had a good chance. I was pissed that so many shows were snubbed for the same old b.s.

  • VannDigital.com | September 23, 2013 4:22 PMReply

    "Did You Really Think Kerry Washington Would Win The 'Lead Actress In A Drama Series' Emmy?" hell no!!!

  • Lauren | September 23, 2013 2:45 PMReply

    I love Scandal but there is none here! The field of actresses up for the emmy was very strong and Claire Danes is awesome in her role in Homeland not to mention Robin Wright who's range and depth are limitless. While I love Kerry Washington on Scandal, I think we've yet to see the best she can do. Her role as Olivia has two notes: A woman in charge and love-struck. Hopefully season three will lead to more nuance for her to play with.

  • Lauren | September 23, 2013 8:36 PM

    *attracted...not attached

  • Lauren | September 23, 2013 8:35 PM

    @herenorthere...You do know Scandal is a Shonda Rhimes show don't you? It's also on network tv... the shows on cable are in a whole other league as far as what they're allowed to do as well as the actors and writers that are attached to cable because of those very freedoms.

  • NO BRAINER | September 23, 2013 5:26 PM

    I was really hoping you would ask a better, more rational question than that, HERENORTHERE... :(

  • HereNorThere | September 23, 2013 5:11 PM

    Of course the field was strong. Just as it was strong in previous years and just as it would be strong in coming years. One question though. why do these strong roles keep going to white actress alone?

  • Sean Jackson | September 23, 2013 2:25 PMReply

    Here we go again. Does it have to be racism? Does it really have to be any of that shit? How about they just picked Clair Danes because they liked her performance more. We can't just go around bitching everytime someone black doesn't win. It's counter productive and very weak. Some of us really believe that each time one of us is in the running and we don't win, its racism. It's just sad.

  • Daryl | September 23, 2013 2:11 PMReply

    Still wacthing the emmys. I tuned out years ago. You know it has no credibility when a great show like the wire never received a nomination. Black people continued to want acceptance from these shows and hollywood that only want to see black people in stereotypical or marginal roles because if you start seeing black folks getting nominated in variety of roles it will start killing stereotypes and you know the fake powers that be is not trying to let that happen, that's why you see black actors, actresses, black films, black tv shows feed people the same bs they been fed for years, that's how they remain in power, the sad thing about this is too many of us are willing to obliged just to get paid or get upset when a black person doesn't win awards from awards shows with no credibility. Also BET ,NAACP need to stop nominating shows and given awards to garbage shows and films just because they are black, if it's no black shows or films that are good then don't have the nomination that would be better than awarding garbage shows and films just because it got black people in it. That hurts in the long run because that says to other races look they don't got standards look what they reward and this helps keep stereotypes going or they can start nominating the good indie black films and web series that are being made if they serious about changing things.

  • HereNorThere | September 23, 2013 1:52 PMReply

    Did Washington played a maid or slave? No. Why would white people give an award to a black woman for playing powerful black character with empowerment? Are we serious?

  • Exactly | September 23, 2013 10:38 PM

    Totally agreed. It seems that way doesn't it? Although I don't think she deserved the win, but a nomination is not bad on a resume. When more writers and producers start calling the shots, the pendulum may sway towards some color blind acceptance of characters.

  • bohemian princess | September 23, 2013 1:49 PMReply

    Do I think Claire Danes deserved the award? As a fan of Homeland I would say definitely but I don't understand all these elitist going on about Kerry not being a strong enough actress to deserve the award? Seriously? As someone who studied acting for years I consider myself to be a bit of a snob when it comes to the craft and I don't understand the criticisms. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Scandal is not a highly acclaimed series in the way of Homeland, House of Cards, Downton Abbey, etc because Kerry does a fine job with the material. No doubt Scandal is soap opera tripe but we're judging on her performance. And for the record she is a hell of a lot deserving than many of the other nominees(I watch Nashville and was baffled by Connie Britton's nomination, I suspect the nominating committee still have residual love for her from her FNL days because she phones it in on Nashville every single week) I also watch Downton Abbey and find Michelle Dockery to be far less deserving than Kerry but of course Downton is more critically acclaimed than Scandal so people overlook it. I also watch House of Cards and am not as impressed with Robin Wright as some of you seem to be.

    Sidebar, though I knew Kerry would not win I was hoping she would because when Tatiana Maslany gets nominated next year and every year after she's taking the award home. As of now she is hands down the best actress on television.

  • Ladybug | September 23, 2013 9:03 PM

    Amen! Maslany is killing it!!! Think she should have taken Kerry's spot on this list this year. Love Love Love her!

  • Phred G | September 23, 2013 6:36 PM

    I'm with you on Tatiana M. SciFi suspension-of-disbelief aside, she's HANDLIN' that show.

  • Your TV STEALER | September 23, 2013 1:32 PMReply

    Robin Wright was my second. If you've never seen House of Cards...and I was upset at Jeff Daniels win over Kevin Spacey as well. Kerry had a solid performance and there wasn't one point in this season where I said to myself they were off, or they didn't deliver. If anything, I was disappointed it wasn't nominated for Outstanding Drama.

    Y'all let this Sally Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson comparison of these two characters cloud your judgement as to call her a slut? It's just TV, people. Make believe. Two different instances. Aside from that, she's an amazing actress.

  • slb | September 23, 2013 12:54 PMReply

    I thought she was going to win only because the buzz was she was going to win. In no way, shape or form was her performance strong enough to win an Emmy. I like Kerry Washington, but her acting in this show is not very good. And quite frankly, the show is not very good.

  • NO BRAINER | September 23, 2013 2:44 PM

    I must say, people like you SLB, who thought she would win because of the buzz, are not foolish. You're the exception. I know how the media machine can deceive us all. And because of the media, a part of me was nervous she would win, knowing she didn't deserve it. But, she didn't and I'm not surprised. The best actor won.

  • Your TV Stealer | September 23, 2013 1:22 PM

    You wildin. You can her acting isn't great (which, lets be honest, it is) but the show is awesomesauce.

  • NO BRAINER | September 23, 2013 12:30 PMReply

    Whoever thought she would win was foolish. The fact is, her performance couldn't come near to Claire Danes, who is also in a vastly superior show. Washington's nomination alone was a bone. She wasn't even competing with the other nominees. The whole time I was thinking her nomination should've went to Michelle Fairley from "Game of Thrones."

  • Jeni | September 23, 2013 1:54 PM

    Hmm. If anyone's nomination should have given to someone else, it was Michelle Dockery, who hasn't done anything of note since the first season of Downton Abbey.

  • DivaSpeaks | September 23, 2013 12:06 PMReply

    What is the ONE difference between Kerry and all those other "critically acclaimed actresses with longstanding histories while walking on water" actresses?? Uh yea. One question, did any of the other actresses win their awards after being on a "new" show or were they nominated multiple times before winning?? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • beemooree | September 23, 2013 11:56 AMReply

    I actually thought kerry would win. She may not have won this yr but I think she will in a yr or 2. Kerry is one of the best actresses around. No acting or directing talents won but Bryonce did. Go figure

  • KBJr. | September 23, 2013 11:46 AMReply

    Personally, I like "Scandal" (though for the love of me can't figure out why its fanbase is so passionate), and Kerry Washington is an able lead and anchor for the show...but my opinion of her performance doesn't quite mirror popular sentiment. What Kerry does is kind of a one-trick pony, she emotes very well, but that's all she's given to do. This is especially the fault of the writers, who don't give Ms. Pope much in the way of range, so Washington is stuck. Not her fault, but that still doesn't make her the Best Actress.

    I'm curious, does anyone know which episodes she submitted to be considered for the award? At the EMMYS, I legitimately believe episode selection can make all the difference, which is probably why we saw so many surprise winners and major upsets (people actually judged the submitted work and not the public relations).

    I was actually rooting for Robin Wright in this category, as her morally ambiguous character was an absolute joy to watch in "House of Cards". Additionally, and somewhat unrelated, the BIGGEST snub of the entire season is that Jeff Perry (the actor who plays Cyrus Beene on Scandal) wasn't even NOMINATED!! He is the strongest performer on the show!

  • CC | September 23, 2013 12:36 PM

    @ KBJR

    DITTO! I am glad someone had the nerve to say it, she emotes very well and she's a one-trick pony. That's not necessarily a bad thing, most actors have something they do best that works for them.

    Reference Robin Wright, I love how you described her character, "morally ambiguous". I never thought of it like that but considering her role as a loyal wife who is married to a man in politics with questionable moral values (not to mention her (justifiable?) ongoing "affairs"), I suppose one's morals will always be in question.

    My biggest joy was seeing Merritt Wever's win in the supporting actress in a comedy category for "Nurse Jackie". In the middle of the season I remember calling my daughter to ask her what she thought of the writing and acting. Her first words, "I love the nurses aid, she's stealing every scene". I agreed, the show is well-written and Edie Falco is a bona-fide star, but Merritt Wever is my shinning star.

  • Mia | September 23, 2013 11:32 AMReply

    I have no idea how the winners are chosen but clearly .. the people doing the choosing haven't the slightest bit of taste

  • NO BRAINER | September 23, 2013 12:45 PM

    Or maybe you don't have the slightest bit of taste? Just saying.

  • D.C. Kirkwood | September 23, 2013 11:14 AMReply

    No I didn't think she would win. My girl Claire Danes has been killing it on Homeland. She deserved to win and she did. The writing and casting on Homeland is awesome. Kerry Washingto is a good actress, I would personally like to see her on a different show. The End.

  • Mia | September 23, 2013 11:29 AM

    well we all don't get what we want... do we.....

    I wanted her to win and she didn't... the end...

  • JayTeeDee | September 23, 2013 11:11 AMReply

    Not at all and I didn't particularly want her to win either.

  • Tichaona Chinyelu | September 23, 2013 11:10 AMReply

    I can see the validity in what the author has written, especially the point that Scandal is on network tv, which, I believe, hampers the writing to a degree (gotta cater to the sponsors). I would be very interested to see what Shonda Rhimes would do on, say, HBO.

    That said, Jean, it is not true that all Kerry Washington plays is whores. (We're adults here, you can type the actual word). Have you seen Mother and Child? Her character, not a whore. Django Unchained, regardless of what you think of the movie, her character was not a whore but a woman who was tortured for running away. Her character in Peeples, which I didn't like that much , was also not a whore. Ray, not a whore. Night Catches Us, not a whore. A Thousand Words, not a whore. You either don't know the definition of whore or you don't know her body of work.

  • Jule | September 23, 2013 11:17 AM

    I concur. Kerry has never played a role that would be categorized as a whore. I think Jean needs to look at her body of work before commenting.

  • Really Think? | September 23, 2013 11:09 AMReply

    Listen to me, you have to love what you do. Let me be honest with y'all, you can laugh if you want, but I'm a talented motherfu*cker. The elevator to success is broken, take the stairs. ~ Jennifer Lewis. #AMEN!

    That said, the biggest takeaway -- for me -- from the Emmys was the lack of POC. Not my momma, father, sistahs nor brothas were anywhere to be found as producers and writers in the celebrated programs. I felt as if I was ease-dropping on the Good Ol' Boys network with a few token blacks thrown in as garnish.

    #supportBET

  • D.A. | September 23, 2013 11:06 AMReply

    To add to your assessment, I highly doubt ABC was going to spend an ungodly amount on a campaign for 'Scandal', given it's only on it's 3rd season. Maybe the 4th and 5th season, and even if they had the money to spend, they weren't going to fork over $150k, which is normally the minimum.

  • Izzy | September 23, 2013 10:59 AMReply

    I personally don't think Kerry Washington is the "Best" actress around. She is good enough, however. There are a lot of other actors and actress that are good enough and making consistent checks in the business. They just aren't black.

  • Tyler | September 23, 2013 10:54 AMReply

    I'd argue that Coby Bell's portrayal of Jason Pitts is Emmy-worthy. But The Game has been so frustratingly inconsistent since it's revival on BET that there 's ZERO chance anyone has noticed that he's the best thing about the show -- and always has been.

  • Your TV Stealer | September 23, 2013 1:25 PM

    He had a better chance at an Emmy on Burn Notice or Third Watch. Bet, he's the only one on The Game who isn't over-reaching/acting, he had stronger performance elsewhere.

  • Jean | September 23, 2013 10:37 AMReply

    An actress is supposed to win an acting award because she can act not because she is black.

    Kerry Washington is a below average actress, who overacts and is extremely well dressed in Scandal. That doesn't add up to real acting, no matter what you wear.

  • CareyCarey | September 23, 2013 2:03 PM

    Really? They delete comments all the time... since when? Well, I haven't seen that happen on a regular basis. But now I am more than curious. What type of comments have been deleted? I mean, surely said comments are not cast away because of cuss words or a simple word like "whore"?

    Lets be real, compared to MANY comment sections, S&A's is relatively lame/tame/civilized. Other spots which receive over a thousand comments each day makes S&A look like a kindergarten sandbox. So again, I'm left to wonder what type of comments have been deleted?

  • mawon | September 23, 2013 1:07 PM

    They delete comments all the time, unfortunately.

  • CC | September 23, 2013 11:56 AM

    Okay Tichaona, I missed it.

    Interesting. It's not S&A's modus operandi to delete comments.

  • Tichaona Chinyelu | September 23, 2013 11:46 AM

    CC, she/he deleted the original comments where she/he did call Kerry Washington a whore. Opinions are fine and everyone is entitled to them but based on her/his original (and since deleted) comments, it was obvious she was not familiar with Kerry Washington's work to type such a slur.

  • CC | September 23, 2013 11:39 AM

    I don't get it. Why are people overreacting to Jean's comment? I mean, I was reading the comments cririzing her remarks, yet I did not see her use the word "whore". So who really has the problem?

    Besides, lets face a few facts, Kerry's resume would not be listed under stellar performances. Think about that, what did she bring to The Last King Of Scotland or Lakeview Terrace or Ray or Django? Yeah, if you can even remember those performances, what memorable lines, scene and/or action would put her in the annals of great female actresses?

    Forget about it, Kerry IS an average actress who frequently overacts and is extremely well dressed in Scanal.

  • Jules | September 23, 2013 11:15 AM

    Are you an actress, Jean? Everyone is allowed to critique someone but you seem to have a bigger issue than her acting.

  • M | September 23, 2013 10:31 AMReply

    Thank you for this. It's TRUTH!

  • lily A | September 23, 2013 6:17 PM

    agreed

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