Black Women Nominees for the Best Actress in a Television Series — Comedy or Musical Golden Globe: By The Numbers

Tracee Ellis Ross with her Golden Globe award, 2017 (Wbli)

Tracee Ellis Ross with her Golden Globe award, 2017 (Wbli)

At the 2017 Golden Globe Awards, actress Tracee Ellis Ross won the Best Actress Television Series Musical or Comedy (BATSMC) for her role of Bow Johnson on the ABC comedy “Blackish.” Ross is only the second Black woman to win in this particular category.

If that doesn’t impress you enough, here are some numbers that put Ross’s win in the larger context (with Best Actress Television Series Musical or Comedy noted as BATSMC):

Number of total Black nominees for BATSMC: 14

Number of unique* Black nominees for BATSMC: 7

*I’m defining unique as actresses who’ve been nominated at least once.

Total nominees for BATSMC, 1963-2017: 54

Percentage of total Black nominees to total overall nominees, 1963-2017: 25.96%

Percentage of total Black winners to total overall winners, 1963-2017: 3.70%

Number of Black actresses who’ve won BTMSC: 2

  • Debbie Allen for “Fame,” 1983
  • Tracee Ellis Ross for “Blackish,” 2017

Number of Years between the first Black winner and second Black winner: 34

Year of the first Black nominee: 1970

  • Diahann Carroll for “Julia”

Number of TV Shows with more than one Black actress nominations:

  • “The Jeffersons:” 5 nominations – 1977, 1978, 1983, 1984, 1985
  • “Fame:” 3 nominations – 1983, 1984, 1985
  • “Gimme a Break!:” 2 nominations – 1983, 1985

Highest number of Black nominees in a single year: 3

  • 1983: Isabel Sanford, “The Jeffersons;” Nell Carter, “Gimme a Break!;” Debbie Allen, “Fame”
  • 1985: Isabel Sanford, “The Jeffersons;” Nell Carter, “Gimme a Break!;” Debbie Allen, “Fame” (No, this isn’t a typo; the exact same three actresses were all nominated again two years later.)

 Number of Black nominees, 2017: 2

  • Tracee Ellis Ross, “Blackish”
  • Issa Rae, “Insecure”

*Sources: Wikipedia’s list of black Golden Globe Award winners and nominees and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress page.

#ThrowbackThursday: Debbie Allen at the Golden Globes, 1983

Debbie Allen at the Golden Globes, 1983 (YouTube)

Debbie Allen at the Golden Globes, 1983 (YouTube)

Way back in 1983 (34 years ago!), actress-choreographer Debbie Allen won the Golden Globe Award for Best Musical or Comedy Actress. Allen starred in “Fame,” the TV series based off the 1980 movie.

She was the only Black woman to win this award until “Blackish” actress Tracee Ellis Ross (yes, Diana Ross’s daughter) won earlier this week during the

Tracee Ellis Ross Becomes the First Black Woman to Win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Comedy Since 1983

Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Globes 2017 (Elle)

Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Globes 2017 (Elle)

Last night at the Golden Globe Awards, the always amazeballs Tracee Ellis Ross won the award for Best Actress — Television Series Musical or Comedy. Ross plays Bow Johnson, badass doctor and matriarch of the Johnson family in the ABC comedy “Blackish.”

Ross is also the first Black woman to win that category in 34 years. The last Black woman to win in that category was Debbie Allen for “Fame.”

In her historic moment, Ross’s acceptance speech celebrated inclusion, especially for women of color:

This is for all the women, women of color, and colorful people whose stories, ideas, thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important. But I want you to know that I see you. We see you.

Congratulations, Tracee, and keep being you!

 

 

Viola Davis is the First African-American Woman to Win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress

Emmy-winning actress Viola Davis (NY Daily News)

Emmy-winning actress Viola Davis (NY Daily News)

Acclaimed actress Viola Davis made history last night when she became the first African-American actress to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Davis plays lawyer and law professor Annalise Keating in ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder,” now in its second season.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is finally beginning to recognize more diverse talent. Davis was up against Taraji P. Henson for “Empire,” which was the first time two Black women were nominated in the same category. Davis acknowledged Henson and 2013 and 2014 nominee Kerry Washington in her acceptance speech.

Some context for this win and occasion: The category has been awarded since 1953. Debbie Allen was the first Black woman nominated in the category in 1982. It begs the question: what took so long?!