Television

Donald Glover breaks new ground with Emmy win

Donald Glover accepted the Emmy for directing, comedy, during Sunday’s awards ceremony.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Donald Glover accepted the Emmy for directing, comedy, during Sunday’s awards ceremony.

In securing his first win of the night for his FX comedy series “Atlanta,” Donald Glover also broke an important record.

Earning an Emmy for best directing in a comedy series — while, notably, beating out an all-white crop of competing nominees — Glover became the first black director to triumph in the category.

And given that Glover’s win corresponded with his first nomination out of four — he’s also nominated in lead actor, writing, and producing capacities — it’s safe to say, out of the two relevant Donalds in tonight’s ceremony, one is having a much better night than the other.

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“Atlanta,” a complex and often surreal series set within the Atlanta hip-hop scene, finds Glover playing the cousin and manager of an up-and-coming rapper (Brian Tyree Henry). The show has earned praise for its nuanced and abstract treatment of racial tensions and relations in modern-day America. Overall, the show was nominated for six Emmys, including best comedy, best actor in a comedy (Glover), directing for a comedy, and writing for a comedy (for two different episodes).

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Though the episode for which Glover triumphed, “B.A.N.,” was a standout amid an excellent first season for “Atlanta,” the series was largely helmed by director Hiro Murai, with whom Glover had previously teamed on music videos while rapping under the name Childish Gambino. During his brief but warm remarks on stage, Glover acknowledged it.

“This really belongs to Hiro Murai,” he explained. “He taught me everything about directing. He had the eye for this show and he’s just amazing.”

Glover’s competition in the directing category included Jamie Babbit for “Silicon Valley,” Mike Judge for “Silicon Valley,” Morgan Sackett for “Veep,” David Mandel for “Veep,” and Dale Stern for “Veep.”

Isaac Feldberg can be reached at isaac.feldberg@globe.com, or on Twitter at @i_feldberg.