AUGUST 13, 2014 | 10:45AM PT
When TV stars and industry execs arrived to the Dynamic & Diverse 66th Emmy Awards Celebration on Tuesday night, they were not only celebrating the year’s biggest small screen accomplishments but said they were welcoming the “new golden age of television.” The event, held at the Television Academy in North Hollywood, highlighted every form of diversity.
“Celebrating diversity means getting really specific about your heritage so we can focus on and enjoy our commonalities,” said “Mistresses’” Jason George, who serves as chair of SAG-AFTRA’s diversity advisory committee, “and through that enjoy the differences a little bit instead of seeing it as something that keeps us apart.”
The celebration not only highlighted actors, but also showrunners and execs who make their appearances on the show possible. Many pointed to “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes for expanding the opportunity for people of diverse backgrounds.
“She doesn’t look at it like ‘Oh, I’m trying to create diversity!’ Instead she’s just creating a world. In this world there are people that are diverse, which is the best thing ever,” said “How to Get Away With Murder” actress Aja Naomi King.
For many of the night’s attendees, more diversity could be achieved on both TV and film. “Scandal’s”Joe Morton said there have been strides but there needs to be greater diversity in the storylines.
“Last year’s films were mostly about segregation of some sort and that hasn’t changed,” Morton toldVariety. “I would like to see change so we’re telling stories that we’re already equal and we’re doing something completely not involved with segregation or equality.”
The Dynamic & Diverse event is in its second year, sparked last year by Kerry Washington’s nomination for lead actress in a drama series. Organizers said they wanted to once again set aside an evening to take note of diversity on television.
George said the amount of attendees showed the impact of promoting diversity on TV. He said about 750 people committed to coming to the event, exceeding their original goal of 400.