September 21, 2020 at 5:35 pm EDT | by Susan Hornik
Emmy’s big night was virtually a first
Dorian Awards, gay news, Washington Blade
Dan Levy, Catherine O’Hara, and Noah Reid in ‘Schitt’s Creek.’ (Photo courtesy Pop TV)

Last night’s virtual Emmy Awards was a bright light amongst the darkness and unpredictability Hollywood has faced over the past several months due to COVID-19, civil unrest and wildfires. Minus the elaborate red carpet full of photographers, journalists, a celebrity-laden audience, etc. the 3-hour event had a more intimate feel.

The Blade is here to tell you about all the highlights!

The Wins

–“Schitt’s Creek”—a marvelous series that honors LGBTQ love, kindness, inclusivity—won an impressive seven awards; including best lead actor, best lead actress, and best comedy. Therefore making Emmy history sweeping all the comedy categories.

“Our show is about the transformational power of love and acceptance — and that is something that we need more of now than we’ve ever needed before,” said co-creator/director/writer/producer/star Daniel Levy in his acceptance speech.

During the virtual pressroom, he talked about importance of the series’ finale, in which the same-sex marriage of David (Levy) and Patrick (Noah Reid) took place.

“I think getting to write that storyline was incredibly cathartic for me for many reasons,” said Levy. “One, I don’t get to see those kinds of relationships depicted on TV so I felt that it was an incredible responsibility to be given the opportunity and to try to tell it as authentic as I possibly could.”

He added: “We made a decision to not include the conversation of homophobia or bigotry on our show. By projecting a sweeter, gentler world, I feel that it was a political statement. It seemed to have an incredible effect on people.”

–During the creative arts Emmy, RuPaul also made Emmys history for the most wins in the competition host category. “I’ve always said, every time I bat my false eyelashes, I’m making a political statement. Well, tonight, the only political statement I want to make is this: Love.”

Urging Emmy viewers to vote, Ru dedicated his victory to Chi Chi DeVayne, the season 8 queen who died last month. “Love for our LGBT brothers and sisters, love for Black queens and Brown queens, and love for the United States of America, where a little gay boy with nothing more than a pussycat wig and a dream can build an international platform that celebrates sweet, sensitive souls everywhere.”

Last night, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” also won for outstanding competition program

–Zendaya won her very first Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her riveting performance as Rue, a recovering teen drug addict who is in love with a trans girl in HBO’s “Euphoria.”

“I know this feels like a really weird time to be celebrating, but I just want to say there is hope in the young people out there. I know that our TV show doesn’t always feel like a great example of that, but there is hope in the young people. And I just want to say to all my peers out there, doing the work in the streets, I see you, I admire you, I thank you, and, yeah, thank you so, so much.”

–Tyler Perry and his foundation were given the Governor’s Award for outstanding achievement in the arts and sciences. During his speech, the filmmaker highlighted the importance of telling diverse stories, including LGBTQ stories.

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox was amongst the few who appeared live at the awards show, presenting the award for outstanding writing in a drama Series. While making a joke about her lack of Emmy wins, it appeared as if ABC had censored what she was saying.

“I am living proof of the American dream that anyone in this country can lose the Emmy four years in the same category and yet somehow end up on this stage presenting an award to someone who probably didn’t … ,” Cox said before cameras cut her off.

The Television Academy eventually posted the entire video on YouTube. Cox said she was “presenting an award to someone who probably didn’t effing vote for me.” While not profanity, effing was bleeped out for broadcast television.

The Emmy Drink

Ketel One Vodka created a spectacular at home viewing experience with the help of the Emmy nominee Billy Porter, Cocktail Courier and mixologist Charles Joly.

“The Seven Minute Martini is meant to be both classic and innovative, elegant and celebratory and showcase the versatility of Ketel One vodka,” enthused Joly. “It is familiar with its base of the iconic martini, but becomes interactive and complex with the rapid infusion. You can serve several people at once, so there is a communal aspect, pouring small sips and watching the cocktail evolve as you go.”

As part of the brand’s commitment to create a marvelous world where people are seen and heard as equal, Ketel is donating to organizations that champion representation in Hollywood, including GLAAD.

“Ketel One Family Made Vodka has been a long-standing partner to many LGBTQ organizations and in GLAAD’s mission to accelerate LGBGQ acceptance,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Kicking off Emmy weekend by centering the iconic Billy Porter and trailblazing creator Daniella Carter is just the latest step in our joint commitment to amplify Black queer voices and move diverse LGBTQ representation forward.”

Emmy Gift Bags

A veteran in the production of star-studded events, Nathalie Dubois, president and CEO of DPA, has proven herself to be exceptionally innovative and successful in the realm of celebrity gift suites. Due to the COVID-19 worldwide crisis, DPA paused its lounge operations, delivering Emmy nominees a very full gift bag.

Brands represented in the gift bags are: Miami Cocktail Company, Heavensake, Pearson Brothers winery, Carvery Kitchen, Jaci Haircare, Lisa Stardust, Sarah Potter, Indigo Collagen, Treedom, Asea Renu28, Sparti Scents, Blumenes CBD products, Chipz Happen, Kesaine Walker, Renee Watt, Narayana Montufar, Fly by Jing, Mantra Mask, Nupeutics, Luxie, and Good Dee’s.

Celebrity astrologer Lisa Stardust gifted nominees a free astrology reading, along with her fellow readers. “With all of the uncertainty in the world, it’s more important than ever to look within and to align with our spirituality,” she asserted. “Then, we can guide ourselves, with the healing help of a reader, towards our destiny.”

“Carvery Kitchen offered Emmy nominees and presenters a gift certificate and gift bag for their restaurant,” said Mela Gallegos. “We enjoy every minute of it. It’s a great pleasure to let people try our food and know how much they enjoy it. Some of the guests come to the restaurant after the event or order catering.”

Carvery has many amazing dishes on the menu. “Ours are the most popular items, according to everyone who tried our food is signature beef brisket, pulled pork, chicken caprese, spinach and salmon roll, meat pie, avocado salad and mashed potatoes, just to name a few!”

The restaurant is open for patio dining and is expanding their catering and delivery orders, while adjusting to the new customer friendly way of service. “We continuously work on new specials as well as creating exciting, full and simply delicious virtual events, like wine tasting and food pairing,” said Gallegos.

This year’s Emmy nominees were celebrated with a “Best of Quarantainment” bag by Distinctive Assets, which featured gifts from minority and female-owned companies that give back to their communities.  
“With everything going on the world right now, we wanted to honor these amazing nominees who helped entertain us during the quarantine with gifts that also serve a higher purpose,” enthused founder Lash Fary.
Nominees like Jim Parsons, Billy Porter, Zendaya, Kerry Washington, Mahershala Ali, Daniel Levy and Issa Rae received a plethora of fantastic gifts.

Some of Fary’s favorites include the subscription box Baketivity (“I personally love baking and this makes it fun for kids to learn early. And it is a perfect quarantine activity.”); Isa Lazo natural facial oil (“the product is incredible but truthfully I mostly love the luxe bottle it comes in!”); PETA vegan snack bag, Stretchy Stack volcanic bracelets and EON Sanitizing Mist (“by far the best I’ve tried so far!”) .

Fary’s next project will be doing a gift bag celebrating Small Businesses, which will be delivered to 50 top celebs the week before Small Business Saturday.  

“We are hoping to leverage celebrity social media support to bring attention to a slew of small businesses for holiday shopping and such. Then it will be GRAMMYs and our Everyone Wins for the Top Oscar nominees as usual.”

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