The actress received the Academy of Television distinction for the role of teenager Rue in the series “Euphoria”, an HBO production that debuted in the summer of last year.
The victory was one of the surprises of the night, as multiple Hollywood veterans were nominated in this category: Olivia Colman (“The Crown”), Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show”), Laura Linney (“Ozark”) and Sandra Oh ( “Killing Eve”), in addition to Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”), who in 2019 had won this category.
At the time, Comer was the youngest to receive this Emmy, aged 26, for the same role in “Killing Eve”.
“I know this seems like a very strange time to be celebrating, but I just want to say that there is hope in the young,” said Zendaya, visibly moved, in the Emmy acceptance speech.
“Our series doesn’t always seem like a great example of this, but there is hope,” he continued, saying that he sees and admires people his age who are on the streets doing a good job.
The speech, made from a Zendaya party with the family, was made remotely because of the covid-19 pandemic, which forced the Emmys ceremony to have no audience or nominees present.
The young actress’s victory once again removed Sandra Oh from the Emmy that had eluded her last year and which, if it happened, would make her the first actress of Asian descent to take home the Best Actress statuette in a dramatic series.
The problem of diversity in the Academy Awards nominees and winners, which has been addressed in recent years, motivated actor John Leguizamo to boycott this year’s ceremony.
According to the actor of Colombian origin, the 72nd edition of the awards ignored Latin actors in Hollywood. Speaking to Yahoo News, Leguizamo called the lack of representation of the Hispanic population on the screens “cultural apartheid”.
Zendaya was the second African American actress to win this award, after Viola Davis in 2015, for the role of Annalise Keating in “How To Get Away With Murder”.
With the nominations known since July, his victory was one of the few surprises on a night when the favorites were confirmed: “Succession” took seven Emmys, “Watchmen” 11 and “Schitt’s Creek” nine.
The most peculiar moments of the night were linked to production and conditions due to the covid-19 pandemic, with the organization making video calls to 114 locations in 10 countries where they were stars and nominated for awards.
The ceremony was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel in Los Angeles, without an audience, with some celebrities appearing on stage at venues to present awards.
This was the case with Jennifer Aniston, who, in an initial sketch with Kimmel almost set the stage on fire and had to use a fire extinguisher provided by a production assistant.
At the end of the ceremony, actor Randall Park (“Fresh off the boat”) appeared on stage accompanied by an animal, an alpaca.