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Night of surprises at Emmys


Night of surprises at Emmys

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LOS ANGELES – HBO shows Game of Thrones and Veep won the top prizes at the Emmy Awards for the first time on Sunday, bringing a breath of fresh air to television’s biggest night on an evening that also made history for black actresses.

Jon Hamm finally snared an Emmy for his lead role as Don Draper in AMC’s 1960s advertising drama Mad Men, winning a standing ovation from the audience.

“There’s been a terrible mistake clearly,” said Hamm, who clambered onto the stage rather than walking up the stairs. “It’s incredible and impossible for me to be standing here.”

Hamm said playing a character like the secretive Draper for so long had been both a blessing and a curse.

But Mad Men, a four-time best drama series winner, was shut out of all the other categories and had to be content with just Hamm’s Emmy after closing its final season earlier this year.

Instead, the 18 000 voters of the Television Academy threw their support behind the HBO medieval fantasy series Game of Thrones, which was the night’s biggest winner with 12 Emmys.

HBO’s Veep ended the five-year Emmy reign of ABC’s Modern Family as best comedy series. Julia Louis-Dreyfus won best comedy actress for the fourth consecutive year for her role as the egotistical President Selina Meyer in the series, while Tony Hale, who plays her bag man, was again named comedy supporting actor.

On a milestone night for diversity, Viola Davis became the first African-American to win a drama lead actress Emmy for her role as a tough criminal defence lawyer in ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder.

“The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity,” Davis said in an emotional acceptance speech. “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”

Davis thanked all the writers and producers “who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black”.

Two other black actresses, Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) and Regina King (American Crime), were also among Sunday’s winners, while Jill Soloway joined the small club of women to win a directing Emmy, for the transgender comedy Transparent. (Reuters)