LGBTQ television won big at the 2020 Emmy Awards, with RuPaul and Euphoria’s Zendaya even making history with their wins.
RuPaul’s Drag Race picked up a total of five awards, including Best Competition Series and Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program. The latter marks RuPaul’s fifth consecutive win, breaking the record of four previously held by Survivor host Jeff Probst. In his acceptance speech, RuPaul thanked his young viewers and implored them to continue believing in love.
“Kiddo, I know how you feel right now, just know that you are loved and don’t give up on love,” he said. “Believe in love and the power of love, okay? Thank you so much, thank you.”
The reality show host wasn’t the only history maker of the night. Zendaya, who plays queer lead character Rue in HBO’s Euphoria, took home her first Emmy win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. At 24, she is the youngest person ever to receive the award, beating out Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, Ozark’s Laura Linney, The Crown’s Olivia Colman, and The Morning Show’s Jennifer Aniston.
“This is a really weird time to be celebrating,” the actress said in her acceptance speech. “But I just want to say there is hope. And the young people out there, I know that our TV show doesn’t always feel like a great example of that, but there is hope in young people.”
Another big winner of the night was Schitt’s Creek, which won a whopping nine awards. Catherine O’Hara won Best Actress in a Comedy; Eugene Levy won Best Actor in a comedy; Annie Murphy won Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy; and out actor, director, and writer Dan Levy took home Outstanding Writing in a Comedy, Outstanding Directing in a Comedy (along with Andrew Cividino), Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, and Outstanding Comedy Series. The series also won Outstanding Casting for a Comedy and Outstanding Contemporary Costumes.
In his speech accepting the award for Outstanding Comedy Series, Dan Levy urged viewers to register to vote to ensure we “have some love and acceptance out there.”
“Our show at its core is about the transformational effects of love and acceptance, and that is something that we need more of now than we’ve ever needed before,” he said. “I just wanted to say for any of you to not registered to vote, please do so and then go out and vote because that is the only way we are going to have some love and acceptance out there.”