Other than honors from the NAACP Image Awards, “Power” has not received any awards or nominations from the Emmys, Golden Globes or SAG — something that star and executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson frequently rants about.
Following the show’s over-the-top Season 6 premiere mega-event, held at Madison Square Garden, 50 Cent once again pointed out his show’s lack of awards recognition, sarcastically writing, “I made my own award show this year,” on his Instagram.
At the premiere event, up on stage at Madison Square Garden, show creator Courtney A. Kemp told the 11,000 fans in the audience, “We pushed ourselves to give you the best show on TV. And even when the rest of the industry ignored us, you were there.”
Following the Madison Square Garden concert and screening, Kemp spoke to Variety at the afterparty, and was asked to elaborate on her statement up on stage when she said “the rest of the industry ignored us.”
“We have gotten no awards recognition, outside of the NAACP,” Kemp said. With a large sigh, she added, “It is distressing that a show could be this successful on a premium cable network, and to this day, I’ll say, ‘I’m a showrunner’ and people go, ‘Oh! What show?’ And I say ‘Power’ on Starz and they say, ‘Oh, I’ve never heard of it before.’ These are people in our industry.”
Kemp says that although “Power” has not received enough attention from within the industry, Hollywood has made progress to recognize other diverse shows and storytellers.
“With shows like ‘Atlanta’ and ‘Master of None,’ there has been a change,” she said. “But I just think that we started a little too early, before the change where shows like ours were actually seen.”
“I think our show is as good as any show on television,” she said. Referencing “Game of Thrones,” she added, “We don’t have dragons. We don’t have really big brand name stars. But what we have is great writing and great performances.”
“I would encourage everyone to try it because I’ve never had anyone try my show and not like it,” she added. “But let’s say it were the opposite, and I had all the critical acclaim I want, but nobody watches the show? I’m good. This is alright,” Kemp said with a laugh.
Things certainly are alright for Kemp. In 2018, she signed a rich multi-year pact with Lionsgate, securing a long and lucrative future with the company, and although “Power” is heading into its final season, Starz has numerous spinoffs in the works, including a series starring Mary J. Blige. And Kemp says she’s not sad that “Power” is ending.
“We got to end the show in the right way at the right time,” she said. “I ended it when we were out of stories on this chapter, and now we’re going to the next chapter.”