The 2020 Emmy Awards Recap

Gabby Brailovskiy, Associate Producer #THAT

The 2020 Emmy Awards were like nothing the world has ever seen before. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Hollywood’s “normal,” had to change in order for the show to occur. The host of the evening, Jimmy Kimmel, had to speak to an empty audience at the Staples Center. From history being made to tear jerking moments, here is all you need to know about the night!

The iconic “Schitt’s Creek” swept through the entire comedy category at the show. The show took home an Emmy for outstanding comedy, best actor, best actress, outstanding writing for a comedy series, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, and outstanding director for a comedy series. They made history by being the first show to take home every single award in a comedy category. In Dan Levy’s acceptance speech for the outstanding writer for a comedy series award he paid tribute to just how much this show has meant to him. He said: “Getting to write David Rose, getting to write this show, getting to tell the stories, has been the greatest and most cathartic experience of my life.”

One surprise of the night featured Jennifer Aniston, who was up for the lead actress in a drama award for her role in “The Morning Show.” Aniston popped up on the virtual screen with none other than Courtney Cox and Lisa Kudrow by her side. It was the mini “Friends” reunion that we all needed. The trio joked about still living together and Aniston even added that they have all been roommates since 1994.  

Zendaya also made Emmy history last night by becoming the youngest person ever to win the outstanding actress in a drama series award for her role as Rue in “Euphoria.” As her win was announced, viewers got to see her friends and family jump for excitement by her side. In her acceptance speech Zendaya told fans, “I know this feels like a really weird time to be celebrating, but I just want to say that there is hope in the young people out there. I know that our TV show does not always feel like the greatest example of that, but there is hope in the young people. Thank you so so much.” 

Tyler Perry was also granted this year’s Governor’s Award for his outstanding work and contributions in the entertainment world, as well as beyond it. In his speech he spoke about an emotional experience he had as a child involving a quilt that his grandmother had given him. He remembered finding a similar one to it at an antique store and the owner of the shop had told him that it was made by a former slave. At the time he found himself embarrassed of the gift and did not understand the meaning to it. However, he soon came to understand the value that this quilt held. He said, “We are all sewing our own quilt with our thoughts, our behaviors, our experiences and our memories. I stand here tonight to say thank you, to all of the people who are celebrating and know the value of every patch and every story and every color that makes up this quilt that is our business, this quilt that is our lives, this quilt that is America.”

The Emmys also paid tribute to the many deaths that occurred in the entertainment industry, as well as beyond it in the last few months. Kimmel began the tribute by speaking about the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a supreme court judge who paved the way for women and equality not only in politics, but in the world. Ginsburg passed away on September 18th. In his speech Kimmel said, “On Friday, we lost a great American. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a compassionate and tireless champion of equality and justice, who said her legacy was to make her life a little better for people less fortunate than she. Sounds like pretty good words to live by to me.” Stars featured in the tribute also include Regis Philbin, Naya Rivera, Caroll Spinney, James Lipton, Lee Mendelson, Carl Reiner, John Witherspoon, among many others. It was a beautiful moment during the show and touched fans’ hearts around the world.

All in all, the 2020 Emmys may have been extremely different than years past, but they did not fail to deliver joy and make those watching, even if for only a few hours, forget the troubles around them. In such a chaotic time, the award show almost brought back a sense of normal.