Asian Talent Received Emmy Noms Recognizing Their Outstanding Work

The Emmy nominations are here! The Television Academy revealed the nominees for their outstanding work in Television and Asian excellence is represented in major categories, starting with the history-making noms for Netflix’s Squid Game.

The Path to Awards Glory for Squid Game

Squid Game keeps making history! The gritty South Korean drama received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama, becoming the first-ever non-English language program to be nominated in the major category by the Television Academy. The Netflix juggernaut earned 14 Emmy nominations, including five in the acting categories for Lee Jung-jae in lead actor, Jung Ho-yeon for supporting actress, Park Hae-soo and Oh Yeong-su for supporting actor and Lee You-mi for guest actress.

This marks the first time that a non-English project has even been nominated in all the major categories at the SAG Awards, Golden Globes and the Primetime Emmys. The series also scored major wins at the SAG Awards for Best Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama and a Best Supporting Actor win for Oh Yeong-su at the Golden Globes. The show was also a favorite with the Critic’s Choice Awards where Lee Jung-jae was recognized as Best Actor in a Drama.

Beyond Squid Game

The acting categories also recognized the work of great performers such as Sandra Oh. The Killing Eve star received her 13th nomination to the Emmys, this time as Lead Actress Drama for the final season. Along with Sandra, other performers of Asian descent also earned noms for their outstanding work such as Bowen Yang in Supporting Actor Comedy for his wonderful work in SNL, Himesh Patel in Lead Actor Limited/Anthology Series for his great performance in the acclaimed adaptation of Station Eleven, and Ted Lasso’s Nick Mohammed for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category.

On the reality hosting side, Padma Lakshmi (Top Chef), and Tan France (Queer Eye) received nominations as well.

Asian Excellence Behind the Camera

Hwang Dong-hyuk, writer and creator of Squid Game received nominations in the Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. Other nominees in this category include renowned filmmaker Karyn Kusama for her work in Yellowjackets, and Cathy Yan, the director of 2020’s Birds of Prey, for her work in Succession, the acclaimed HBO series.

Meanwhile, Japanese director, Hiro Murai, received two noms in separate genre races for FX’s Atlanta (Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series) and HBO’s Station Eleven (Outstanding Directing for Limited/Anthology Series).

But despite the excellent work that was recognized and the history-making noms for Squid Game, the Television Academy still has a long way to go when it comes to diversity. Deadline reported that even though actors of color received 49 acting and reality hosting Primetime Emmy nominations in 2021, the count for 2022 declined to 31, representing a 37% drop. Notable snubs for this year include Pachinko, the beloved adaptation currently streaming on Apple TV +, and performers such as Naveen Andrews for The Dropout.