“Born This Way” is the defending Emmy champ for Best Unstructured Reality Program, but according to most of our users “United Shades of America” is the fronturnner to win this year. It’s nominated for the second time in a row, so what makes it stronger now than it was in 2016? Strangely, it might be Donald Trump.
The specter of the Trump presidency hangs over many of these Emmy nominations, from late night talk shows that comment on him like “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” to the parodies of “Saturday Night Live,” and even the themes of political ineptitude (“Veep”), corruption (“House of Cards”), oppression (“The Handmaid’s Tale“), and Islamophobia (“The Night Of”) that permeate some of this year’s scripted nominees. So as the presidency continues to descend further into chaos and bigotry, voters may be inclined to show their support for “United Shades,” which travels the country to explore issues of race in America.
The white supremacist and Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, took place from August 11-12. Then Emmy voting started on Monday, August 14, the day before Trump made his third statement on the matter, placing equal blame on the so-called “alt-left” counter-protesters, one of whom was killed by a white supremacist who drove his car into a crowd. That places racism back at the center of public discourse, so “United Shades” may resonate more than ever.
And the series has already gotten a boost this year. Its executive producer and star W. Kamau Bell earned his first nomination for Best Reality Host, which is a rare bid in that category for the host of a non-competition series. It also doesn’t hurt that “United Shades” airs on a news network (CNN), which might give it an additional sense of prestige. So do you agree with our users that it’s the favorite to win?
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on September 9. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.