AAPI Emmy Contenders: ‘Squid Game’, ‘Pachinko’, ‘Saturday Night Live’


We shouldn’t just be celebrating AAPI’s performance in May, as the artistic contributions of our global talent have produced some of the best television and film productions of the past decade. However, as we near the end of the annual celebration, it’s worth noting the multiple AAPI acting nominees vying for Primetime Emmy nominations.

Netflix’s “Squid Game” shook up the streaming world, becoming the most-watched series in the history of the platform. Still, with universal acclaim, it’s disheartening to feel the show isn’t a lock to sweep the board in its eligible categories. Of course, you can attribute this to the competitive landscape, including “Succession” and “Severance.” Yet it’s already grappling with history as the first non-English series to be nominated for an Emmy.

Looking at Apple TV+’s ‘Pachinko’, another critically acclaimed international series, however, it looks like a long shot for names outside of the artisan categories, despite the popularity of South Korean sensations. Lee Min-Ho and Oscar winner Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”). We should have room for more than one non-English series in the conversation, but as the realm of television gets even bigger with the growing content landscape, it’s harder to stand out in the crowded realm.

It’s no secret that Asian and Pacific Islanders aren’t well represented in Hollywood, whether in film or television. Research by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found that 44 films had an Asian or Pacific Islander in a lead or co-lead role, 14 of which were headlined by Dwayne Johnson. Additionally, only six of the roles were performed by AAPI women, and none were over 40 years old.

In the Emmy season television landscape, there seems to be a greater range of options for Television Academy members to consider in the acting categories when filling out their ballots.

The good news is that we have a group of actors and actresses who could fill almost any respective line-up, even beyond the dozen names listed.

Variety lists 11 AAPI nominees who are considering Emmy nominations.

Check out the latest predictions on the Emmys Collective pages, with links to individual categories. Voting opens on June 16.

Honorable mentionsAwkwafina (“Nora from Queens”), Arian Moayed (“Inventing Anna”), Kayvan Novak (“What We Do in the Shadows”), Nasim Pedrad (“Chad”), Phillipa Soo (“Dopesick” and “Shining Girls ), Emeraude Toubia (“With love”), Ming-Na Wen (“Boba Fett’s book”), Oh Young-soo (“The squid game”)

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