Since the most recent US election, Hollywood award ceremonies have often played host to political commentary, satirical sketches and jibes about the current system, and Sunday (17 September) night’s Emmys followed suit.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, plenty of the night’s guest presenters and winners had important points to make, with more than one dedicating their win to a current White House resident.
Here is what the celebrities in attendance had to say…
1. Stephen Colbert
The ceremony’s host set the political tone for the evening with his opening monologue, going straight for - yes, you guessed it - President Donald Trump.
“There were over 450 original scripted shows made this year,” he said. “Of course, there is no way anyone could possibly watch that much TV other than the president, who seems to have a lot of time for that sort of thing.
“Hello, sir, thank you for joining us.”
Later, he joked: “If he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president.”
2. ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
The Hulu original series has received plenty of well-deserved attention this year, thanks to its bold and, at times, difficult-to-watch depiction of Margaret Atwood’s Republic of Gilead.
Many critics have argued that the TV adaption of the dystopian novel could not have come at a more interesting time, politically-speaking, and the same can also be said of its five award wins.
The show’s cast and creators kept their speeches relatively politics-free. But speaking backstage, writer Bruce Miller ended his press room interview with a subtle comment, telling reporters (via Deadline): “It’s been lovely, go home, get to work, we have a lot of things to fight for.”
3. Donald Glover
Donald made history at the event, becoming the first black man to win the Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series prize, and he also took home the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series accolade, receiving both for ‘Atlanta’.
In his first speech of the night, the actor and musician jokingly thanked Trump himself, saying: “I want to thank Trump for making black people number one on the most-oppressed list. He’s probably the reason I’m up here.”
4. Kate McKinnon
The general political climate in the US has provided the ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast with almost endless amounts of material, and when Kate triumphed she thanked Hillary Clinton - who she plays on ‘SNL’ - in her speech, after winning the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category.
“Being part of this season of ‘Saturday Night Live’ is the most meaningful thing I will ever do,” she added, before the orchestra began playing, cutting off her speech.
5. Alec Baldwin
Kate’s ‘SNL’ co-star Alec was also a winner, receiving his Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category for his portrayal of the POTUS.
Reminding everyone that Trump’s show ‘The Apprentice’ never resulted in an Emmy Award win, Alec said in his speech: “I guess I should say, at long last, Mr. President, here is your Emmy.”
6 - 8. Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda
The ‘9 To 5’ cast may not have actually said Trump’s name while they were on stage, but their intended target was pretty clear nonetheless.
Jane spoke first and referenced her ‘9 To 5’ character, saying: “Back in 1980, in that movie, we refused to be controlled by a ‘sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot’.”
“And in 2017,” Lily then added, “we still refuse to be controlled by a ‘sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot’.”
9. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
For the sixth year in a row, Julia won Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for her series ‘Veep’, a satirical comedy that depicts life in a rather frantic and disorganised White House.
Accepting her award, Julia said: “We did have a whole storyline about impeachment, but we abandoned that because we were worried that someone else might get to it first.”
10. Nicole Kidman
Nicole’s commentary was social rather than political but her words held serious weight all the same.
After receiving the Best Lead Actress prize for ‘Big Little Lies’, she spoke about domestic violence, a theme on the show.
“It is a complicated, insidious disease,” she said. “It exists far more than we allow ourselves to know, it is filled with shame and secrecy and by you acknowledging me with this award it shines a light on it even more.”
11. John Lithgow
And in an unexpected twist, Winston Churchill got a mention when the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series award was given out.
“In these crazy times, his life, even as an old man, reminds us what courage and leadership in government really looks like,” John Lithgow, who plays the former Prime Minister in ‘The Crown’, said.
- Tracee Ellis Ross in ChanelKevin Mazur via Getty Images
- Viola Davis in Zac PosenJohn Shearer via Getty Images
- Nicole Kidman in Calvin KleinSteve Granitz via Getty Images
- Sarah PaulsonKevin Mazur via Getty Images
- Laverne Cox in Naeem KhanKevin Mazur via Getty Images
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- Reese Witherspoon in Stella McCartneyJ Merritt via Getty Images
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- Shailene Woodley in Ralph LaurenJohn Shearer via Getty Images
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- Claire Foy in Oscar de la RentaSteve Granitz via Getty Images
- Jane Fonda in Brandon MaxwellJohn Shearer via Getty Images
- Jane KrakowskiKevin Mazur via Getty Images
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