×

‘Transparent,’ Amazon Break New Ground with Emmy Wins

It didn’t take long for the Primetime Emmy Awards to become a soapbox for pivotal social issues.

Transparent” creator Jill Soloway, who won for outstanding directing for a comedy series, accepted her award by thanking her own transgender “Moppa” and pleading for the audience to urge passage of the transgender Equality Act.

“We have a trans civil rights problem,” she explained.

Soloway’s win was immediately followed by her star, Jeffrey Tambor’s win for lead actor in a comedy series.

“I’ve been given the opportunity to act because people’s lives depend on it,” he said, adding “I’d like to dedicate my performance and this award to the transgender community. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your stories.”

The high-profile series’ Emmy success shouldn’t be much of a surprise: it won best comedy series at January’s Golden Globes and Tambor accepted the leading actor in a comedy series trophy at that ceremony. And, as he pointed out in his Emmy acceptance speech, the publicity team of streaming service Amazon Prime has been working overtime to draw attention to this property and away from rival Netflix.

“I always thought there was teaching in the laugh and the humor; with the laughter and with the humor you can kill prejudice,” Tambor said backstage in the press room, adding “This is bigger than me. It represents what Amazon has done and what the transgender community is doing and what our show is about.”

Tambor’s win wasn’t much of a surprise for pundits or for his castmates. Amy Landecker, who plays his character’s eldest daughter Sarah, told Variety on the red carpet that she’d called it from the first table read. Judith Light, who plays his character’s ex-wife, added then that she and Tambor had known each other for a long time and she’d “never seen him operate this way.”

“He’s always brilliant in what he does, but there’s some depth about this that is really beyond description and definition,” Light told Variety. And he takes the responsibility of it so seriously for the work and to the transgender community — he is very responsible, as is Jill.”

The “Transparent” wins come as trans issues and characters have filled movie and television screens of late. Most famous is Caitlyn Jenner’s E! docuseries “I Am Cait,” but others include ABC Family’s reality series “I am Jazz” about a trans teen and its scripted series, “The Fosters,” which features a transgender character played by a trans actor. Laverne Cox of Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” broke ground last year when she became the first transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy.

Perhaps Jimmy Kimmel, who presented the lead actor in a comedy series Emmy (and Variety TV critic Brian Lowry) was onto something when he said that it might be time for gender-neutral categories.

Watch Jill Soloway praise Tambor in the video below:

Elizabeth Wagmeister contributed to this report.

More TV

  • Jee Young Han

    NBC Comedy Pilot 'Like Magic' Casts Jee Young Han in Lead Role

    Jee Young Han has been cast in the lead role of the NBC single-camera comedy pilot “Like Magic,” Variety has learned. The project is a workplace comedy that follows an optimistic young woman (Jee) pursuing her dream to be a headlining magician in the eccentric and ego-driven world of the Magic Palace. Jee will play Holly. [...]

  • Sharon Case from The Young and

    NATAS Announces 2019 Daytime Emmys Pre-Nominations for Drama Performer Categories

    The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences have announced the pre-nominations for all of the drama performer categories ahead of the 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. “The Young and the Restless” lead the pre-nominations with 21 candidates, but “General Hospital” and “Days of Our Lives” are close behind with 20 and 19 candidates, respectively. [...]

  • Childrens Hospital

    'Childrens Hospital' Team Reunites at Netflix for Comedy Series 'Medical Police'

    The team behind the Adult Swim series “Childrens Hospital” has come back together at Netflix. The streamer has ordered 10 thirty-minute episodes of a new scripted series called “Medical Police,” which is written and executive produced by Rob Corddry, Krister Johnson, Jonathan Stern, David Wain. In addition to his onscreen role, Corddry created “Childrens Hospital,” [...]

  • mike colter luke cage portrait

    'Luke Cage' Alum Mike Colter Joins CBS Drama Pilot 'Evil'

    Mike Colter has been cast in a lead role in the CBS drama pilot “Evil” from Robert and Michelle King, Variety has learned. Colter will play David DaCosta, a Catholic priest in training, tasked by the Church to assess unexplained phenomena to see if there is a supernatural or scientific explanation. He joins previously announced [...]

  • Watch First Trailer for Motley Crue

    Watch First Trailer for Motley Crue Biopic 'The Dirt'

    Netflix has dropped the first trailer for its Motley Crue biopic “The Dirt” — based on Neil Strauss’ best-selling history of the legendarily bad-behaved ‘80s metal icons — and it looks like the film pulls no punches in terms of the band’s famously sordid history. In this two-minute trailer, we get glimpses of singer Vince [...]

  • man-in-the-high-castle-season-two-rufus-sewell-amazon

    Amazon's 'The Man in the High Castle' to End With Fourth Season

    “The Man in the High Castle” is coming to an end. Amazon Prime Video said Tuesday that the dystopian alt-history series will end with its fourth season, which will premiere in the fall. “It has been a great privilege to work alongside our extraordinary ‘High Castle’ team, in partnership with David Zucker and Scott Free, [...]

  • ‘Tomorrow and Thereafter,’ ‘Diane Has the

    MyFrenchFilmFestival Prizes ‘Tomorrow and Thereafter,’ ‘Diane Has the Right Shape’

    Actress-director Noémie Lvovsky’s “Tomorrow And Thereafter,” a heartfelt homage to the director’s own mother, and Fabien Gorgeart’s “Diane Has the Right Shape,” about one woman’s surrogate motherhood, both won big at the 2019 UniFrance MyFrenchFilmFestival which skewed female in its winners and viewership, making particularly notable inroads into South East Asia and Latin America. Opening [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content