2012 EMMY NOMINATIONS:<br />
The Good, the Black, the Ignored

The nominations for the 64th Emmy Awards are out, and naturally, it’s time for everyone to air their grievances.

Some are not too happy that an arguably lackluster last season of 30 Rock managed to score an Outstanding Comedy Series nod instead of say, Parks and Recreation or Louie. A few aren’t too happy that no broadcast drama scored a nomination in the Outstanding Drama Series category – further pushing the big four back at the other end of the table to make room for the cooler kids on cable. Gleeks all over are likely somewhere singing another sad love song over Glee being completely ignored in the major categories.

And of course, many of us are out there lamenting the more pressing issue about the overall lack of color present on the Emmy’s list of honorees.

There are some spectacles of melanin to be found, though.

Idris Elba received a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Mini-series or Movie for his role on the British psychological crime drama Luther. Don Cheadle was nominated for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role on House of Lies, while Giancarlo Esposito received a nomination for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role on Breaking Bad.

Meanwhile, Minnie Ripperton’s baby Maya Rudolph scored a nod in the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy series category for her guest hosting gig on Saturday Night Live. Unfortunately, Maya is the only Black actress to be recognized by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Yes, that means, Taraji P. Henson was overlooked for her role on CBS’ Person of Interest. Same for Kerry Washington – who read the nominations with Jimmy Fallon yesterday – and her starring role on Scandal. Ditto for Regina King and her terrific work on the painfully ignored Southland.

I concur: Boo, hiss. Boo, hiss.

Well, when it comes to Regina King anyway. Person of Interest isn’t necessarily a critical darling, and as much as I like Scandal, the reviews have been mixed.  Then you have to take into account that Jesus could’ve wrote glowing reviews of all three of these actresses on his blog and it’s very likely each would still be shunned out of the Emmys.

None of it is surprising but nevertheless frustrating, given that this plays out year after year. 

Obviously, a lot of the Black sitcoms currently on air aren’t exactly riveting television. Then again, in hindsight neither was 227 but Jackée’s fantastic self remains an Emmy Award-winning actress anyway. No offense 227 fans, I own the first season on DVD.

Still, per my duties as Captain Obvious I have to point out the following: When it comes to the Emmys and many other awards shows, we are in a rut.

Regina King said as much more elaborately in a 2010 op-ed for The Huffington Post: “I try hard in my daily life not to engage in uncomfortable situations regarding race. But sometimes it's very difficult to find other reasons that better explain why certain events play out the way they do. It is impossible for me to ignore the published statistics regarding the number of people of color mentioned, celebrated or honored in the history of the televised Emmys.”

It’s a challenge to figure out what else there is to say on the matter. It sucks. We all hate it. No one is entirely sure what to do.

Maybe I’ll have better answers this time next year when this same mind-numbing issue resurfaces.

In the meantime, go Idris and keep hope alive, Ms. King!

Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick