Stacey Abrams ran for Governor of Georgia in 2018, was thwarted in no small part by the voter-suppression efforts of her opponent (and Georgia Secretary of State) Brian Kemp, and has dedicated herself to fighting for voting rights ever since. But now she’s an Emmy nominee for Best Character Voice-Over Performance for playing herself in the animated “Black-ish: Election Special.” Indeed, politics makes strange bedfellows. Check out the 2021 nominations list here.
In the special animated “Black-ish” episode, Abrams counsels Dre (Anthony Anderson) about running for Congress, and I’m fairly certain her recognition makes her the first ever Georgia gubernatorial nominee to earn an Emmy nomination for a character voice-over performance. But what’s even more remarkable is that she could become the first person ever to win an acting Emmy for “Black-ish.”
“Black-ish” has been a perennial nominee since it first competed at the Emmys in 2015, but the only Emmy the show has won thus far was for its hairstyling in 2020. Anderson hasn’t won Best Comedy Actor despite six previous nominations. Tracee Ellis Ross has yet to claim Best Comedy Actress after four previous attempts. And Wanda Sykes lost her two bids for Best Comedy Guest Actress.
Anderson and Ross are both nominated again this year, but even if one or both of them prevails, their categories will be presented during the main telecast on September 19, while Best Character Voice-Over Performance can be expected at the Creative Arts Awards that are presented beforehand. So either way Abrams would be “Black-ish’s” unlikely first acting champ.
Winning might be tricky, though. She was probably helped in the nominations round by being the first name seen on the ballot by about half of voters (ballots are shown alphabetically or reverse-alphabetically to voters on a random basis). But now she faces the defending champ in the category, Maya Rudolph (“Big Mouth”), as well as Julie Andrews (“Bridgerton”), the late Jessica Walter (“Archer”), and perennial voice acting nominee Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”). Rounding out the category are multiple Emmy nominee Tituss Burgess and past Emmy champ Stanley Tucci (both for “Central Park”).
So Abrams may be an underdog in this election, but at least this time it won’t be Brian Kemp’s fault.
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