Every awards season, we brace ourselves for unforgettable moments, emotional speeches, and historic wins. But over the course of the past several years, one awards show that has consistently pushed the envelope for making history is the Emmy Awards. Some of the most beloved shows and performers have graced the Emmys stage — and made history at the same time.
The Emmys first award was handed out back in 1949. More than 70 years later, the TV medium has completely transformed, thanks in large part to streaming services. But that’s not the only thing that has changed. Certain TV shows and performers have made incredible breakthroughs in certain categories, and it’s because of them that we’re so excited to see what could happen during the upcoming telecast!
History was previously made at the Emmys with the 2021 class of nominees. Among them was Mj Rodriguez, whose soulful performance in the FX drama series Pose earned the artist rave reviews since the series’ premiere. Now, Rodriguez was nominated for her first Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, becoming the first openly trans woman to earn a nomination in the category.
Others who made history during previous telecasts include Rodriguez’s co-star, Billy Porter, who made history in 2019 for his win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Pose as the first openly gay man to win the award. But there is so much more history to comb through before we get to the show.
Take a look back at some of the most exciting, historic Emmy Awards wins since the show began.
A version of this article was originally published in September 2021.