The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards yesterday wasn’t just another ordinary Emmy night; it has made history like never before. There were a lot of surprising firsts. An African-American woman, Lena Waithe, took home an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for the first time, while Donald Glover became the first African-American man to win the award for the Outstanding Directing. Riz Ahmed, rewrote history by being the first Asian man ever to bag the award for the Outstanding Lead Actor.
Before this, only one actor of Asian descent had ever won an acting Emmy before, when The Good Wife‘s Archie Panjabi won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2010.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 18, 2017
Needless to say, Riz Ahmed’s Emmy achievement was a lot more than an acting award for his performance in The Night Of. Being the first man from the Asian descent and a Muslim who obtain such a timeless award, the actor has tampered with the Emmy awards distribution history forever. The actor gave out a heartfelt speech saying,
“I want to say it is always strange reaping the rewards of a story that’s based on real-world suffering, but if this show has shown a light on some of the prejudice in our societies, Islamophobia, some of the injustice in our justice system, then maybe that is something,”
The actor was bubbling with gratitude as he thanked the South Asian youth, and The Innocence Project, for helping him take on such a challenging role.