Anthony Anderson is up for his first Emmy this weekend, nominated for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, for his work on ABC’s breakout comedy “Black-ish.”

“It means a lot because this character Dre is closest to me. It means a lot because the stories that we’re telling on our show are stories that I lived with my family,” Anderson tells Variety of the importance of his debut Emmy nomination.

“It’s great to be recognized in particular for the work that I’m doing because it’s so close to me that it’s taken from my life and it’s put on screen, so words really can’t begin to explain how that nomination means for this show in particular.”

As for the success of the family sitcom, Anderson says, “We always prided ourselves on being topical and timely,” in addition to honest storytelling. He is also proud that the show has helped Hollywood move another step in the right direction toward showcasing diverse casts, characters and stories.

“I believe it has,” he says of setting the stage for more diversity on TV, “but we only stand on the shoulders of shows before us. With the success of ‘Black-ish’ came ‘Cristela’ and ‘Fresh Off the Boat,’ and now you’re looking at a whole crop of new shows with diverse casts that wasn’t there a year ago, and it can all be pinpointed from the success of ‘Black-ish’ so we are excited about that, but we’re just a small cog in the machine doing what we’re supposed to do. We’re standing on someone’s shoulders so someone can stand on ours.”

For fun, the first time Emmy-nominee chose the category he thinks should be added to television’s biggest night: Best Husky Actor. He quips, “Best husky actor on any television show! The husky brothers are always overlooked.”

Watch Anderson’s full interview about his Emmy nomination, diversity on television and season two of “Black-ish” above.