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2022 Emmy Awards

The winners and losers of the 2022 Emmy Awards, as recounted by Editorial Assistant, Zoe van der Merwe

Following two ceremonies impacted directly by the pandemic, the 2022 Emmy’s returned to the relative normalcy of a pre-COVID format. The 74th awards ceremony hosted by Kenan Thompson took place in the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, fixated on the more milder topics of TV and streaming services. The opening monologue celebrated various TV theme songs from Friends to Game of Thrones and no longer were jokes solely about social distancing or masks, but rather TV and its cliches took centre stage.

The most important aspect of the night however, was the award’s ceremony itself. Even with the honour that comes with being nominated, there were clear winners (and losers) at the Emmys this year. The winners of each category included [1]:

Every award’s show has its memorable highs and lows, and this year’s Emmys were no exception. The central highlight of the night was Sheryl Lee Ralph’s win for Abbott Elementary in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy. Ralph in her address sang the opening verse of Dianne Reeves’ “Endangered Species”: “But I sing no victim’s song. I am a woman, I am an artist, and I know where my voice belongs” [2]. Following the performance, she gave her acceptance speech centered on believing in your dreams, leading many in the theatre to be brought to tears. Ralph’s historic win makes her the second Black woman to take home the award in her category, thirty-five years after the last winner, Jackee Harry [3].

Squid Game was also a notable moment of the night, receiving a total of fourteen nominations and winning six awards. The show is the first non-English series to ever receive an Emmy nomination. In his speech, creator Hwang Don-hyuk expressed his hopes that, “Squid Game won’t be the last non-English series to be here at the Emmys” [4].

Lizzo also won her first Emmy Award for her show Watch Out For The Big Grrrls. In her acceptance speech she highlighted the underrepresentation she faced while growing up and her decision to become that representation for herself and other women [5].

With these highs, however, do come some lows. One of the most contentious aspects of the Emmys this year was the speech timing and pacing. The enforcement of speech time limits lacked consistency, and poor planning saw a tight 45 second limit towards the end of the night. The weakness of scripted segments was also criticised alongside additional advertisements taking place outside of commercial breaks [6].

However, the most controversial moment of the 2022 Emmys was Jimmy Kimmel’s commitment to a skit during the presentation of the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. As Quinta Brunson received her award for Abbott Elementary, Kimmel remained lying face down on the ground. Kimmel’s actions have received much negative backlash with many labelling the commitment to his joke, disrespectful [7].

Overall, the awards ceremony tried to remain light, and despite its mixed critiques, it was a night that saw many historic award winners and firsts in the industry.

[1] Horton, Adrian. “Emmys 2022: The Full List of Winners.” The Guardian, 13 Sep 2022,

[2] Zornosa, Laura. “The Best, Worst, and Wildest Moments of the 2022 Emmy Awards.” Time, 12 Sep 2022,

[3] “Representation Rundown: Emmy’s 2022.” The Representation Project, 13 Sep 2022,

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Cain, Sian. “The 74th Emmy Awards Ceremony Wraps Up – as it Happened.” The Guardian, 13 Sep 2022,


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