Black Women Emmy Contenders for Comedy: Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish

The hilarity of black women on television was sorely missed and ignored by the Television Academy for several decades. However, with this year’s list of outstanding comedy series as robust as ever, it showcased an incredible number of black women worthy of Emmy recognition in both the main and supporting comedy categories. With freshman releases such as “Abbott Elementary” (ABC), “The Afterparty” (Apple TV+) and “Harlem” (Amazon Prime Video) and farewell seasons of “Black-ish” (ABC) and “Insecure” (HBO), there are plenty of opportunities in categories that are sorely lacking in black winners.

In the lead actress comedy, only six black women have been nominated since its inception in 1966 – Diahann Carroll (“Julia”), Isabel Sanford (“The Jeffersons”), Nell Carter (“Gimme a Break!”), Phylicia Rashad (“The Cosby Show”), Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”) and Issa Rae (“Insecure”). Sanford was the only black woman to win the category in 1981.

Read more: Variety Awards Circuit Emmys Prediction Center

In supporting actress comedy, we’ve seen a slight increase in black talent representation, but still not enough relative to industry presence. Ten individual women were recognized in this category – Marla Gibbs (“The Jeffersons”), Paula Kelly (“Night Court”), Lisa Bonet and Keisha Knight Pulliam (“The Cosby Show”), Jackee Harry (“227”), Alfre Woodard (“Desperate Housewives”), Vanessa Williams (“Ugly Betty”), Niecy Nash (“Getting On”), Leslie Jones (“Saturday Night Live”), Zazie Beetz (“Atlanta”) and Yvonne Orji (“Insecure ”) Harry is the only one to have won.

In 2020, we saw history make history with the first two black women, Ellis and Rae, nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series and Leading Actresses in a Comedy.

As the submission deadline for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards approaches on May 12 and before nominations voting opens on June 16, Variety below is a list of black women who demand consideration from the TV Academy.

To see where the list of women among this year’s Emmy contenders stands, go to Variety‘s Awards Circuit prediction pages to see current standings. The nomination ballot runs from June 16-27. Official nominations for the 74th Emmy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, July 12.

Honorable Mentions: Nicole Byer (“Grand Crew”), Regina Hall (“Black Monday”), Ziwe (“Ziwe”)