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Brunson Leads Black Excellence at Emmys, Ending 43-Year Drought in Lead Actress Category

Screengrab 75th Emmy Awards
In a groundbreaking moment at Monday night's Emmy Awards, Quinta Brunson made history by securing the award for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her stellar performance in ABC's "Abbott Elementary." The accolade, presented by television legend Carol Burnett, marked a significant milestone in Brunson's career.

As Brunson took the stage to accept the Emmy, her emotions were palpable. The recognition not only honored her exceptional talent but also positioned her as the first Black woman to achieve this feat since Isabel Sanford in 1981 for "The Jeffersons."

Visibly overwhelmed in the moment, Brunson began her acceptance speech with a heartfelt "Wow," expressing gratitude and acknowledging the profound impact of receiving the award from Burnett. Fighting back tears, she said, "Thank you so much. I don't even know why I'm so emotional. I think, like, the Carol Burnett of it all. I love making 'Abbott Elementary' so much, and I am so happy to live my dream and act out comedy."

She closed her speech by extending her gratitude to her parents, sisters, brothers, husband, and the cast of "Abbott Elementary."



Other prominent Black winners included Ayo Edebiri, who took home the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and Niecy Nash-Betts, who won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her role as Glenda Cleveland in the Netflix series "Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story." She dedicated the win to overlooked Black and Brown women.

Brunson's groundbreaking win is not only a personal triumph but also a significant step toward increased representation and diversity in the entertainment industry. Her role as the creator, writer, and lead actress in "Abbott Elementary" reflects her multifaceted talent and dedication to her craft.

The two-time Emmy winner, previously awarded in 2022 for outstanding writing in a comedy series, continues to make waves with her nominations at the 75th Emmy Awards. Nominated for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series for her episode of "Saturday Night Live," and with "Abbott Elementary" in the running for outstanding comedy series, Brunson's impact on the television landscape is undeniable.

"Abbott Elementary," a workplace comedy set in a public school in Philadelphia, showcases Brunson's commitment to telling compelling stories that resonate with audiences despite resource constraints. As Brunson etches her name in the Emmy history books, her win marks a moment of celebration, inspiration, and a testament to the power of diverse voices in entertainment.

For the complete list of winners, please find it below.

Outstanding Drama Series:
"Andor"
"Better Call Saul"
"The Crown"
"House of the Dragon"
"The Last of Us"
"Succession" (WINNER)
"The White Lotus"
"Yellowjackets"

Outstanding Comedy Series:
"Abbott Elementary"
"Barry"
"The Bear" (WINNER)
"Jury Duty"
"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
"Only Murders in the Building"
"Ted Lasso"
"Wednesday"

Outstanding Limited Series:
"Beef" (WINNER)
"Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story"
"Daisy Jones & the Six"
"Fleishman Is in Trouble"
"Obi-Wan Kenobi"

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
Jeff Bridges, "The Old Man"
Brian Cox, "Succession"
Kieran Culkin, "Succession" (WINNER)
Bob Odenkirk, "Better Call Saul"
Pedro Pascal, "The Last of Us"
Jeremy Strong, "Succession"

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:
Sharon Horgan, "Bad Sisters"
Melanie Lynskey, "Yellowjackets"
Elisabeth Moss, "The Handmaid’s Tale"
Bella Ramsey, "The Last of Us"
Keri Russell, "The Diplomat"
Sarah Snook, "Succession" (WINNER)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
F. Murray Abraham, "The White Lotus"
Nicholas Braun, "Succession"
Michael Imperioli, "The White Lotus"
Theo James, "The White Lotus"
Matthew Macfadyen, "Succession" (WINNER)
Alan Ruck, "Succession"
Will Sharpe, "The White Lotus"
Alexander SkarsgÄrd, "Succession"

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:
Jennifer Coolidge, "The White Lotus" (WINNER)
Elizabeth Debicki, "The Crown"
Meghann Fahy, "The White Lotus"
Sabrina Impacciatore, "The White Lotus"
Aubrey Plaza, "The White Lotus"
Rhea Seehorn, "Better Call Saul"
J. Smith-Cameron, "Succession"
Simona Tabasco, "The White Lotus"

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Bill Hader, "Barry"
Martin Short, "Only Murders in the Building"
Jason Segel, "Shrinking"
Jason Sudeikis, "Ted Lasso"
Jeremy Allen White, "The Bear" (WINNER)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
Christina Applegate, "Dead to Me"
Rachel Brosnahan, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Quinta Brunson, "Abbott Elementary" (WINNER)
Natasha Lyonne, "Poker Face"
Jenna Ortega, "Wednesday"

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
Alex Borstein, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Ayo Edebiri, "The Bear" (WINNER)
Janelle James, "Abbott Elementary"
Sheryl Lee Ralph, "Abbott Elementary"
Juno Temple, "Ted Lasso"
Hannah Waddingham, "Ted Lasso"
Jessica Williams, "Shrinking"

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
Anthony Carrigan, "Barry"
Phil Dunster, "Ted Lasso"
Brett Goldstein, "Ted Lasso"
James Marsden, "Jury Duty"
Ebon Moss-Bachrach, "The Bear" (WINNER)
Tyler James Williams, "Abbott Elementary"
Henry Winkler, "Barry"

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie:
Taron Egerton, "Black Bird"
Kumail Nanjiani, "Welcome to Chippendales"
Evan Peters, "Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story"
Daniel Radcliffe, "Weird: The Al Yankovic Story"
Michael Shannon, "George & Tammy"
Steven Yeun, "Beef" (WINNER)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie:
Lizzy Caplan, "Fleishman Is in Trouble"
Jessica Chastain, "George & Tammy"
Dominique Fishback, "Swarm"
Kathryn Hahn, "Tiny Beautiful Things"
Riley Keough, "Daisy Jones & the Six"
Ali Wong, "Beef" (WINNER)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie:
Murray Bartlett, "Welcome To Chippendales"
Paul Walter Hauser, "Black Bird" (WINNER)
Richard Jenkins, "Dahmer -Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story"
Joseph Lee, "Beef"
Ray Liotta, "Black Bird"
Young Mazino, "Beef"
Jesse Plemons, "Love & Death"

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie:
Annaleigh Ashford, "Welcome To Chippendales"
Maria Bello, "Beef"
Claire Danes, "Fleishman Is In Trouble"
Juliette Lewis, "Welcome To Chippendales"
Camila Morrone, "Daisy Jones & The Six"
Niecy Nash-Betts, "Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story" (WINNER)
Merritt Wever, "Tiny Beautiful Things"

Outstanding Reality/Competition Series:
"The Amazing Race"
"RuPaul’s Drag Race" (WINNER)
"Survivor"
"Top Chef"
"The Voice"

Outstanding Talk Series:
"The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" (WINNER)
"Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
"Late Night With Seth Meyers"
"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert"
"The Problem with Jon Stewart"

Outstanding Scripted Variety Series:
"A Black Lady Sketch Show"
"Saturday Night Live"
"Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" (WINNER)

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series:
Jesse Armstrong, "Succession" (WINNER)
Beau Willimon, "Andor"
Sharon Horgan, Dave Finkel and Brett Baer, "Bad Sisters"
Gordon Smith, "Better Call Saul"
Peter Gould, "Better Call Saul"
Craig Mazin, "The Last of Us"
Mike White, "The White Lotus"

Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie:
Lee Sung Jin, "Beef" (WINNER)
Joel Kim Booster, "Fire Island"
Taffy Brodesser-Akner, "Fleishman is in Trouble"
Patrick Aison and Dan Trachtenberg, "Prey"
Janine Nabers and Donald Glover, "Swarm"
Al Yankovic and Eric Appel, "Weird: The Al Yankovic Story"

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series:
Mark Mylod, "Succession" (WINNER)
Benjamon Caron, "Andor"
Dearbhla Walsh, "Bad Sisters"
Peter Hoar, "The Last of Us"
Andrij Parekh, "Succession"
Lorene Scafaria, "Succession"
Mike White, "The White Lotus"

Outstanding Variety Special (Live):
"Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium" (WINNER)
"The Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show Starring Rihanna"
"Chris Rock: Selective Outrage"
"The Oscars"
"75th Annual Tony Awards"

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series:
Christopher Storer, "The Bear" (WINNER)
Bill Hader, "Barry"
Mekki Leeper, "Jury Duty"
John Hoffman, Matteo Borghese and Rob Turbovsky, "Only Murders in the Building"
Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, "The Other Two"
Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly and Jason Sudeikis, "Ted Lasso"

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series:
Christopher Storer, "The Bear" (WINNER)
Bill Hader, "Barry"
Amy Sherman-Palladino, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Mary Lou Belli, "The Ms. Pat Show"
Declan Lowney, "Ted Lasso"
Tim Burton, "Wednesday"

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