HomeBad Ass AsiansIn an upset, Sandra Oh's costar wins Emmy award

In an upset, Sandra Oh’s costar wins Emmy award

Sandra Oh congratulates co-star Killing Eve co-star Jodie Comer for Emmy win 2019

Views from the Edge

The coveted Emmy continues to elude Sandra Oh.

Oh’s Killing Eve costar Jodie Comer won the Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series at Sunday’s Emmy Awards show.

Oh has been nominated nine times for an Emmy but has never won. She was nominated twice for Killing Eve and five straight years for her portrayal of Dr. Christina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy. This year, she was also nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her stint as a Saturday Night Live host. Her nine nominations has won her the dubious title of being the most nominated Asian American for the television’s prestigious trophy.

Besides Oh, Comer also beat a bevy of heavyweight actresses, including: Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Laura Linney (Ozark), Mandy Moore (This Is Us), Robin Wright (House of Cards), and Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder).

“I just didn’t expect it,” she admitted after the show. “The women in that category are so phenomenal, and I felt very lucky to be there and be here.”
Oh was widely expected to win the category after winning the Golden Globes and SAG awards in the same category. When Comer’s name was announced, it caught her completely by surprise. The first thing she did was to go to Oh and embrace her. 

“I think I said I loved her and I appreciated her,” Comer told ET’s Kevin Frazier backstage, revealing what she whispered to Oh on her way to the stage. “Because honestly, this whole experience we’ve gone through together.”

In accepting the award, Comer paid tribute to her costar. “It’s safe to say, Sandra, that this ‘Killing Eve’ journey has been an absolute whirlwind and I feel so lucky to have shared the whole experience with you,”

If Oh had won she would have been the first Asian American woman to win Best Lead Actress. 

Archie Panjabi became the first actor of Asian descent to win an acting Emmy (The Good Wife) — for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2010. In 2017, Riz Ahmed  became the only Asian actor, male or female, to win a lead Emmy category.n acting prize for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for The Night Of.

Oh was also nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her stint as a Saturday Night Live host. Jane Lynch won for her role in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Another Asian American nominee was Maya Erskine, who with cowriter Anna Konkle, were up for Best Writer for a Comedy Series for their work in Hulu’s PEN15. That category was won by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, for her writing for  took Fleabag.

Jessica Yu

Director Jessica Yu (Fosse/Verdon, Glory, from FX) lost in the category for Directing for a Limited Series or TV Movie to Johan Renck (Chernobyl, HBO).

While Asian Americans were shut out of the awards, Lilly Singh, Ken Jeong and Randall Park appeared on stage to introduce the nominees and winners in several categories.

Padma Lakshmi attended the Emmys to support her show Top Chef, which won a nomination for Competition Program. That Emmy went instead to Ru Paul’s Drag Race on VH1.

Compared to past years, AAPI actors appear more plentiful in lead and supporting roles on television, but none of them have translated to acting recognition. 

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  1. RE: In an upset, Sandra Oh’s co-star wins Emmy award: I thinking there is something racist going on at the Oscars and at the Emmys because these two awards organizations knows that Crazy Rich Asians should be nominated for Best Picture, and Sandra Oh should deserve an Emmy win for her performance of Killing Eve, it seems to me that the Golden Globes and the Sag Awards are the only two awards and organizations that are more prestigious enough to give Asian Americans a chance to shine, to recognized, and be awarded and nominated for their accomplishments not the Emmy or the Oscars because those two organizations have something awful written on the wall saying that the people nominated and the people who win are Blacks and White only, that is what I have to call Racist (if only these people can really look on what the term Racism mean) and these two organizations should be ashamed of themselves.

  2. RE: In an upset, Sandra Oh’s costar wins Emmy Award: Spot on and well said! – And look at the Oscars2016, the year of a call to more diversity, a.k.a. “#OscarsSoWhite” –> there were actually racist jokes made (by host Chris Rock & Sacha Baron-Cohen) – crudely directed towards Asians… and then the milquetoast ‘apology’ / response from the Academy Awards, several weeks later!, was simply insulting!


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