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© 2017 MERRY JANE. All Rights Reserved.

New Golden Age? Emmys Showcase Diverse Television Talent

Don't smash your television set just yet.

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Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton - these are just some of the big names that cropped up on the election-year 2016  Emmys. Still, diversity was a major theme, unlike at recent Academy Awards. While award winners might not have accurately reflected U.S. demographics, an underlying anti-Trump tone might have resonated with blacks, hispanic-latinos and Asians.

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush returned to the public spotlight as Emmys host Jimmy Kimmel’s Uber driver. "I'm in between jobs right now," Bush says in Kimmel’s opening monologue which shows the ABC late night host en route to the ceremony.

Bush: Are you nominated?

Kimmel: I am, yeah.

Bush: Wow, what's that like?

Kimmel: It's nice, it's nice.

Bush: You think you can win?

Kimmel: There's a lot of competition. And, probably not.

Bush: Well, here's what I know. If you run a positive campaign, the voters ultimately will make the right choice.

Watch it here.

The ceremony celebrates television’s top talent, from best lead actor/actress to outstanding hairstyling and sound. Kimmel had presciently quipped early on that anyone without a dragon or White Bronco in the show might as well leave. "Game of Thrones" and "The People v O.J. Simpson” took home a combined 18 awards. “Game of Thrones” won 12 for the second year in a row. Politics was on the minds of many.The host made cracks about deporting “The Apprentice” producer, U.K. born Mark Burnett if Trump wins the 2016 election.  

Mr. Kimmel added: “Thanks to Mark Burnett, we don’t have to watch reality shows anymore, because we’re living in one.” Many other winners and presenters expressed they don’t endorse Trump.

Winner of outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series, Kate McKinnon thanked Hillary Clinton - who she plays on Saturday Night Live -  in her speech. "The People v O.J.'s" Courtney B. Vance closed his speech with, "Obama out. Hillary in.” Writer Aziz Ansari, awarded for his Netflix show "Master of None,"  joked about deporting Muslims and Hispanics.

"Transparent" star Jeffrey Tambor and series creator Jill Soloway spoke to improve the plight of the transgender community. Soloway asked Hollywood to hire more transgender talent.

“Topple the patriarchy!” yelled Soloway, while receiving her award for directing her comedy episode “Man on the Land”. “Liberal Hollywood,” as usual, the conservatives will cry.

“The cultural ubiquity of TV was a theme of the night,” James Poniewozik wrote in his Emmys review.

The Winners

‘Games of Thrones’ broke an Emmy record with a second consecutive win in the best drama category. No other program has won as many awards. ‘Thrones’ has won altogether 38 Emmys, surpassing “Frasier” as most won by a scripted series. Like usual, HBO dominated the Emmys with 22 wins. “Games of Thrones” will likely pass “Saturday Night Live”, the all-time champion with 45 wins with two years left on its contract.

HBO programs earned best drama and comedy -- two of the night’s biggest honors -  for repeat winners "Thrones" and "Veep," respectively.  "People v O.J.'s" took home three acting wins for the show’s attorney roles: Vance, Sarah Paulson and Sterling K. Brown.

John Oliver won variety talk category for “Last Week Tonight,” the first year the award was handed out in post-Stewart-and-Colbert era. Fargo, after 18 nominations, won just two awards. An Emmys snub?

Overall, the Television Academy honored a dozen networks and streaming services, “illustrating just how much quality television is emanating from a wide variety of sources,” as CNN’s Brian Lowry notes. USA even won an award, as actor Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”) took home an award. Seldom Emmy award winning BBC America won as well, thanks to actress Tatiana Maslany’s honors for “Orphan Black.”