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TV Critic’s Corner

An Emmy diversity milestone

Ron Cephas Jones won a Creative Arts Emmy Award for his appearance on “This Is Us.”
Ron Cephas Jones won a Creative Arts Emmy Award for his appearance on “This Is Us.”Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

The Emmy Awards don’t air until Monday night, Sept. 17, but on Saturday night the Television Academy handed out a mess of Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

The most interesting thing about the creative prizes is usually the guest acting categories, and this year was no exception. History was made, as all four winners were black. Black actors and actresses have won in the category many times before, but not en masse. Is this a result, as some are claiming, of efforts by the networks, writers, and producers to bring more diversity to TV? We shall see more definitively in the nominations and winners of coming years.

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And the winners were . . . Tiffany Haddish, sadly not nominated for her nuanced series-lead work on Tracy Morgan’s “The Last O.G.,” took the comedy guest prize for her hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live.” Katt Williams won for his turn on “Atlanta” as Uncle Willie, the “Alligator Man” who padlocked his girlfriend in the bedroom; notably, one of his competitors in the category was Donald Glover, for his hosting work on “Saturday Night Live.”

On the drama side, Samira Wiley won the guest-actress prize for her work on “The Handmaid’s Tale.” And Ron Cephas Jones, as Randall’s now-dead father, won for “This Is Us.”


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.