History could’ve been made in a major way at the 2018 Emmys, but that definitely didn’t happen. Sandra Oh lost to Claire Foy in the lead actress in a drama series category, and people are angry.
By receiving a nomination for her role in Killing Eve, Oh became the first Asian woman to be nominated for a lead actress Emmy ever. Her nomination was something the Emmys, of course, highlighted. After being recognized onstage by Kate McKinnon and Kenan Thompson during the opening performance, Oh responded in the audience, “It’s an honor… just to be Asian.”
Monday night’s Emmys focused heavily on diversity and celebrated just how diverse this year’s awards were. Regarding the nominees, yes, they were the most diverse in Emmys history, but the same can’t be said about the winners. So when it came time for Oh’s category and she didn’t win, well, those rooting for her were upset even more.
https://media.giphy.com/media/1ppn14lp7TXbW7fa2c/giphy.gifOf course, Claire Foy is an extremely talented actor who did award-winning work as Queen Elizabeth II in season two of Netflix’s The Crown, but the same can be said about Oh in Killing Eve. Many have deemed her loss as a missed opportunity and a historical moment that could’ve impacted the Emmys majorly.
Like Oh told The New York Times in July, “We’ve got to start somewhere. And I’m happy to get that ball rolling, because what I hope happens is that next year and the next year and the next year, we will have presence. And the presence will grow not only to Asian-Americans, you know, from yellow to brown, but to all our other sisters and brothers… If I can be a part of that change, like [expletive], yeah, let’s celebrate it.”
Even Foy recognized Oh onstage by saying during her acceptance speech, “This wasn’t supposed to happen. Sandra Oh, I just love ya.”
A lot of people love Oh too, and they can’t help but express their anger over her loss. Here are just a few of the reactions on Twitter.
sandra oh is too classy to say it, but the fact that she’s been nominated for an emmy 6 times for ICONIC performances but has never won signals that the emmys think nominating an asian actress is an award in itself, but it’s not. she was robbed. again. stop using her for ratings. pic.twitter.com/cJ9qlpGfBQ
— NERDY (@nerdyasians) September 18, 2018
even claire foy recognizes that sandra oh should have won the emmy so i will accept that
— E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung) September 18, 2018
— Nancy Wang Yuen (@nancywyuen) September 18, 2018
— Melissa Briana (@melissaabrianaa) September 18, 2018
Apparently the industry is still not ready to acknowledge Asian talent. I have nothing against Claire Foy, but that was #SandraOh's sixth nomination and she is not the kind actress who could easily get roles to her talent. I'm so disappointed by this. #Emmys
— Sir James (@stufflikemine) September 18, 2018
— mar (@itsvillanelle) September 18, 2018
Sandra Oh not winning is ridiculous #Emmys
— Rafranz Davis (@RafranzDavis) September 18, 2018
It’s definitely disappointing to see Oh walk away from the Emmys without a gold statue. If you’re feeling down about it, here’s what Oh told Entertainment Tonight on the Emmys red carpet.
“Images are extremely important to culture, and being a part of that image making, I take a great responsibility, and I’m very grateful for my job to be able to do so,” she said. “I hope that the wave continues and we see real change. But it’s also [important] to be patient, you know what I mean? Because change is slow and I don’t want people to ever give up on it.”
As upsetting as her loss is, Oh doesn’t want people to ever stop fighting for change and representation that matters.