The Emmy nominations have been announced, and two LGBTQ performers have made history!
MJ Rodriguez, star of the groundbreaking FX series POSE, has made Emmy history as the first trans actress to be nominated in a lead acting category. Queer actor Bowen Yang has also made history as the first ever Chinese American man to be nominated in an acting category for his critically acclaimed work on Saturday Night Live.
MJ Rodriguez stars as house mother Blanca Evangelista on FX’s POSE, and her work on the final season has garnered her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Despite POSE wearing the crown as the first television drama to be made up of a cast of predominantly Black and Afro-Latinx trans actresses, none of the actresses had ever been nominated in an acting category. And despite the show being nominated for eleven awards during its first two seasons, the only actor to ever be recognized is Billy porter, who picked up an Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role award for his work as the fierce ball emcee and unofficial house father Pray Tell.
After two seasons, openly gay Australian-born Chinese American actor and comedian Bowen Yang has become the first featured player from Saturday Night Live to pick up an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series nomination in the show’s 46-year history. However, the even bigger history maker is that Yang is also the first ever Chinese American actor to be nominated for an Emmy. Bowen’s comedic performances on Saturday Night Live have been widely praised, and he became a viral sensation after his performance as the iceberg that sunk the Titanic in one the most widely shared sketches of the season.
Earlier this year, it was announced that MJ Rodriguez has been tapped to star in a forthcoming, still untitled comedy series opposite Maya Rudolph. Also a singer, Rodriguez released her debut single last month entitled “Something To Say”.
Last month, it was announced that Yang had signed on to star opposite Joel Kim Booster in a queer reimagining of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice entitled Fire Island. The film will be directed by Andrew Ahn and stream on Hulu, though no release date has been announced.