In a case of art imitating life, “Saturday Night Live” star Kate McKinnon and alum Amy Poehler both won their first career Emmy Awards this year … thanks to Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. McKinnon took home a statue Sunday night as Best Comedy Supporting Actress, while Poehler finally prevailed (along with co-host Tina Fey) at the Creative Arts as Best Comedy Guest Actress after 18 previous losses. Now that the dust has settled, I wonder if we should assume that McKinnon and Poehler were swept up in election fever by the TV academy and that perhaps this is their way of letting the world know that when it comes to the President, Emmy voters are “with her.”
Pro-Clinton politics were on the minds of many folks at this year’s Emmys, with host Jimmy Kimmel taking jabs at Clinton’s Republican opponent Donald Trump. Kimmel even went so far as to say that “The Apprentice” creator Mark Burnett is responsible for Trump’s ascension as a political player and Burnett should be the first person thrown over Trump’s wall if he wins. And then there’s Courtney B. Vance (“The People v. O.J. Simpson”), who ended his acceptance speech for Best Movie/Mini Actor by shouting, “Obama out!”
But perhaps the biggest political moment at the 2016 Emmys is something you didn’t see. It happened backstage in the press room, when Jill Soloway (“Transparent”) spoke to reporters after her victory for Best Comedy Directing. “[Trump] is a complete dangerous monster, and any moment I have to call him out to being an inheritor to Hitler, I will,” she declared. Standing next to her was Best Comedy Actor winner Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”), who replied simply, “Ditto.”
It’s interesting to note that while real-life politics was present throughout the Emmys with McKinnon and Poehler winning for playing Clinton, the voters strangely stayed away from Netflix’s White House drama “House of Cards” and two political HBO telefilms: “All the Way” and “Confirmation.” But, hmm, what about the fact that “Veep” and Julia Louis-Dreyfus triumphed for a show about a woman ascending to the presidency? You can’t get anymore pro-Clinton than that.