Emmys: Nominations in music categories show greater diversity

The Music Department of the Television Academy is a leader in awarding diversity. 46 percent of all this year’s nominees in the music categories are women, people of color or both.

Nine of the 41 nominees, or 22 percent, are women; 13 of the 41, almost a third, are black. While the proportion of women has slightly decreased compared to last year (27 percent were women), the POC percentage has increased significantly (from a fifth of last year’s nominees).

Female composers are nominated in five of the seven music categories; People of Color, in six of the seven. It’s a near-complete rejection of the decades-long studio-promoted white male power structure that has kept both women and POC out of the competition for top-notch performances.

Academy officials are delighted.

Music Governors Jeff Russo and Sherri Chung made this statement diversity: “We are very happy to be represented in this year’s nomination list. It’s not only a great testament to the importance of diversity and inclusion in our music community, but also an example of how our industry has taken steps to seek new, unheard voices to meet the demand for more and more content .”

Siddhartha Khosla was the first South Asian composer – and indeed a rare composer – to be nominated in three categories: Score for a Series and Main Title Theme (both for Hulu’s “Only Murders In the Building”) and Song (NBC’s “This Is Us”).

Terence Blanchard, one of America’s most prominent black composers, received his first Emmy nomination for the Apple+ documentary They Call Me Magic. Egyptian composer Hesham Nazih was recognized for the music to the Marvel series Moon Knight, and British-Indian composer Nainita Desai received recognition for the Netflix documentary 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible.

Chilean-born Cristobal Tapia de Veer received two nominations (limited series score and title theme) for “The White Lotus,” and South Korean composer Jung Jae-il was cited for his theme for “Squid Game” — to say nothing of the twin song -Nominations for Zendaya and Labrinth for “Euphoria”, Rickey Minor’s two musical direction nominations at “The Kennedy Center Honors” and Adam Blackstone’s third nomination for musical direction of a Super Bowl halftime show.

Natalie Holt received two nominations for “Loki” (series score, main title theme), Jessica Jones one for “The Tindler Swindler”, and no fewer than four women were among the seven music mentoring nominees (Jen Malone for “Euphoria,” Robin Urdang for “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, Nora Felder for “Strange Things”, Janet Lopez for “The White Lotus”).

“The industry as a whole is making a concerted effort to turn the tide,” says Russo (“Star Trek: Discovery”). “There’s just more women, more people of color, doing these gigs and they’re doing a wonderful job. The Academy recognizes great work; that’s what we do.”

Surprisingly, Russo says he expected it. “Not as a governor, but as a composer and voter, I’ve seen what’s happening. We are excited.”

Chung (“Kung Fu”), the academy’s first female music governor, adds, “For someone like me who’s female and a person of color, it’s amazing to see representation changing. The industry has opened up to voices that are less heard.

“Having different stories — and diversity in directors and writers and producers and showrunners — lends itself to allowing newer voices to be heard on the music side. To me, this is an example of awareness of necessity, but also of creative necessity. It’s a fantastic example of what our industry as a whole is doing – our awareness, willingness and desire to celebrate good work, no matter who creates it.”

Raashi Kulkarni, Executive Director of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, adds: “This is an exciting time as formerly underrepresented women artists from diverse backgrounds are beginning to find recognition in our industry. While there is still work to be done, work is underway to showcase and celebrate diverse talent and perspectives.”

https://variety.com/2022/awards/news/emmys-nominations-in-music-categories-show-greater-diversity-1235327554/ Emmys: Nominations in music categories show greater diversity

Charles Jones

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