The 2015 Emmy Nominations Include More Queer and Black Women Than Ever!

The 2015 Emmy Award nominations were announced this morning and, like last year, they’re pretty damn queer. The nominations include a handful of real life gay women —  Lily Tomlin for Grace And Frankie, Sarah Paulson for American Horror Story: Freak Show, Kate McKinnon for Saturday Night Live, Jane Lynch for Hollywood Game Night — and loads of nods for women who play queer characters. This year’s list also includes more black women than ever: Taraji P. Henson! Viola Davis! Queen Latifah! Uzo Aduba! Cicely Tyson! Mo’Nique! Angela Bassett! Khandi AlexanderNiecy NashRegina King! Orange Is the New Black, Transparent, and Bessie are nominated for Best Drama, Best Comedy and Best TV Movie (respectively).

It’s such a stark contrast to last year’s nearly all-white, all-male Oscar nominations!

The nominees are also flush with outspoken feminist badasses, and they (finally, finally, finally) include the incomparable Tatiana Maslany.

Check out the full list of acting nominees below.


LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA

Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder”
Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

LEAD ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story”
Queen Latifah, “Bessie”
Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Honorable Woman”
Frances McDormand, “Olive Kitteridge”
Emma Thompson, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street”

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY

Lisa Kudrow, “The Comeback”
Lily Tomlin, “Grace And Frankie”
Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Amy Poehler, “Parks And Recreation”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA

Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”
Lena Headey, “Game Of Thrones”
Emilia Clarke, “Game Of Thrones”
Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”
Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is The New Black”

GUEST ACTRESS, DRAMA

Margo Martindale, “The Americans”
Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones”
Rachel Brosnahan, “House Of Cards”
Cicely Tyson, “How To Get Away With Murder”
Allison Janney, “Masters Of Sex”
Khandi Alexander, “Scandal”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY

Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”
Niecy Nash, “Getting On”
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
Allison Janney, “Mom”
Kate McKinnon “Saturday Night Live”
Gaby Hoffmann, “Transparent”
Jane Krakowski, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”

GUEST ACTRESS, COMEDY

Christine Baranski, “The Big Bang Theory”
Gaby Hoffmann, “Girls”
Pamela Adlon, “Louie”
Elizabeth Banks, “Modern Family”
Joan Cusack, “Shameless”
Tina Fey, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Regina King, “American Crime”
Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Angela Bassett, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Mo’Nique, “Bessie”
Zoe Kazan, “Olive Kitteridge”

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
“Better Call Saul”
“Downton Abbey”
“Game of Thrones”
“Homeland”
“House of Cards”
“Mad Men”
“Orange is the New Black”

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
“Louie”
“Modern Family”
“Parks and Recreation”
“Silicon Valley”
“Transparent”
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
“Veep”

LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA

Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Kyle Chandler, “Bloodline”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”

LEAD ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Timothy Hutton, “American Crime”
Ricky Gervais, “Derek Special”
Adrien Brody, “Houdini”
David Oyelowo, “Nightingale”
Richard Jenkins, “Olive Kitteridge”
Mark Rylance, “Wolf Hall”

LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY

Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”
Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
Will Forte, “The Last Man On Earth”
Louis C.K., “Louie”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

REALITY-COMPETITION SERIES

“The Amazing Race”
“Dancing With The Stars”
“Project Runway”
“So You Think You Can Dance”
“Top Chef”
“The Voice”

VARIETY SERIES

“The Colbert Report”
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live”
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”
“Late Show With David Letterman”
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

LIMITED SERIES

“American Crime”
“American Horror Story: Freak Show”
“The Honorable Woman”
“Olive Kitteridge”
“Wolf Hall”

VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

“Drunk History”
“Inside Amy Schumer”
“Key & Peele”
“Portlandia”
“Saturday Night Live”

TELEVISION MOVIE

“Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain, Poirot’s Last Case”
“Bessie”
“Grace of Monaco”
“Hello Ladies: The Movie”
“Killing Jesus”
“Nightingale”

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA

Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline”
Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey”
Peter Dinklage, “Game Of Thrones”
Alan Cumming, “The Good Wife”
Michael Kelly, “House Of Cards”

GUEST ACTOR, DRAMA

Alan Alda, “The Blacklist”
Michael J. Fox, “The Good Wife”
F. Murray Abraham, “Homeland”
Reg E. Cathey, “House of Cards”
Beau Bridges, “Masters Of Sex”
Pablo Schreiber, “Orange Is The New Black”

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY

Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Adam Driver, “Girls”
Keegan-Michael Key, “Key & Peele”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Tony Hale, “Veep”

GUEST ACTOR, COMEDY

Mel Brooks, “The Comedians”
Paul Giamatti, “Inside Amy Schumer”
Bill Hader, “Saturday Night Live”
Louis C.K., “Saturday Night Live”
Bradley Whitford, “Transparent”
Jon Hamm, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

SUPPORTING ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Richard Cabral, “American Crime”
Denis O’Hare, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Finn Wittrock, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Michael Kenneth Williams, “Bessie”
Bill Murray, “Olive Kitteridge”
Damian Lewis, “Wolf Hall”


The Primetime Emmy Awards will air on Fox on September 20 at 5:00PM PT / 8:00PM ET. You know we’ll be live-blogging it for you!

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 891 articles for us.

73 Comments

  1. AHHHH! I was literally *just* talking about this in the comment section of today’s Daily Fix.

    I was saying that it felt like loads more black folks nominated than I could remember in a really long time, and now I know why!!!!

    So excited!! And I just can’t hide it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I am a little conflicted about the Best Actress in a Drama Series nominations. As much as Viola Davis KILLED IT this year, Tatiana DESERVES THIS. Viola Davis is doing INCREDIBLE work on HTGAWM, but this is only the first season, and Tatiana is doing UNBELIEVABLE work playing SIX TIMES as many characters, and she got totally shafted last year. Plus, it would be nice to see a genre show like Orphan Black getting some awards love.

  3. So, I just woke up, and I’m a little out of it.

    I was scrolling through the nominations list, and when I got to the actors section I was like, wait… these are MEN’S names.

    For a glorious few minutes I forgot men existed at all.

    Thank you all for that.

  4. Just have to say that I’m so excited to see American Crime in there for limited series… I think the show approached race in a really groundbreaking way for mainstream television and I wish more people were talking about it. And it is frustrating that only white actors got nominated for it :/ Plus my amazing gf worked on it!

  5. That lead actress category is so stacked. All of my favorites are there. I’m so happy Tatiana finally got the nom this year. Also, sad that Gina Rodriguez didn’t get nominated though I’m still confused on whether Jane The Virgin falls into the comedy or drama category due to the change in rules for one hour shows that could basically fit either category. I see OITNB got the drama nods this year.

    I’m also pleased to see Khandi Alexander finally recognized for her work as Mama Pope on Scandal. Khandi Alexander is so underrated and should be getting more work than she does. She was also great in Bessie btw. She could have easily been nominated for that as well.

    And yay for Richard Cabral for American Crime. He was so great in that. I had never seen him in anything before this role. I hope he gets more work out of this.

    • The Academy made a new rule this year that comedies are limited to 30 minute shows. Any show that wanted to be considered as a comedy had to petition for consideration. Glee, Shameless and Jane the Virgin had successful petitions and, as a result, were eligible for the comedy category. OITNB wasn’t so lucky so, instead, they’re considered a drama.

  6. I think Jill Holoway got nominated for writing for Transparent as well, by the way. Isn’t she one of us?
    Also, noteworthy, that actors playing queer or trans characters got nominated quite a lot (I am so counting Kevin Spacey in that category, btw.), which I’m also glad for, because on screen representation wins awards! It’s a good thing if you’re playing a queer character, these days, so I just wanted to throw that out there, because it hasn’t always been.
    Also, in the original Emmy nom document, they totally forgot Beth in their countdown of roles that Tatiana was nominated for.
    My heart is torn over Taraji P.Henson and Tatiana Maslany, I just hope one of them wins, even though Tatiana needs her own separate category of excellence.
    Actually they should have nominated her as Beth for Best Guest Star, and her as Alison as Best Supporting Actress.
    Fair’s fair.

  7. TATIANAAAAAAAAAA! YAS QUEEN.

    For the rest I hope Mad Men wins everything.

    And she’s a nice girl and all.. but Emilia Clarke nominated? Really Emmys? Really?

    Also I would like to nominate Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi for best acting in a split screen.

  8. Whaaaaaat?? How is Jane the Virgin and/or Gina not included 441
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  9. Well that’s an impressive line up of women and performances. To be fair, I don’t think the Oscar’s had nearly the performance pool to draw from, not like this and I was fairly upset last year.

  10. Viola Davis is a powerhouse queen. I still don’t understand just how amazingly she absolutely beasted HTGAWM. Just…that show transcended SO. MUCH. Race and femininity and womanhood and the law and privilege and trauma and…just. Good god. That scene where Annalise is taking off her wig and makeup…I don’t think there’s ever been anything quite so powerful on primetime network TV before. IT WAS AWESOME. And I mean…just that a middle-aged black woman was this powerful centerpiece in such a major show…DAMN, VIOLA. I like Orphan Black well enough…but it just doesn’t have the same representation awesomeness that HTGAWM has, and HTGAWM should win all the awards for every season it exists. Because it’s that good.
    PLUS ORPHAN BLACK IS CANADIAN AND THIS IS NOT CANADA. (Sorry, Canada. I love you, my family is in you, I will be attending grad school in you and then probably staying. But c’mon)
    And to be honest, Cicely Tyson deserves all the awards. Like, she should just be given them by default. She’s Cicely Tyson. She’s been alive FOREVER (and ever and ever, it seems) and she just keeps churning out brilliance. SHE IS NINETY YEARS OLD. When my great-grandmother was ninety (and a pretty lucid, feisty ninety year old at that, relatively), she mostly sat on the porch swing and drank Ensure and Diet Dr. Pepper with a bendy straw and told stories about “how it used to be.” Not, you know, KILLING EVERY ROLE EVER.
    I’d also like Amy Schumer to win…I’ve been incredibly impressed at how she handles humor. Her sketches incorporate all of this important stuff like birth control and rape culture and oversexualization of little girls etc etc etc, and her proud handle on her sexuality is so important. She just doesn’t give a fuck. Independent Woman and shit. Love it.

  11. Thanks for this post…I’ve spent most of the day lamenting the women of color who didn’t get nominations–Lorraine Touissant, Gina Rodriguez, Tracee Ellis Ross and Constance Wu (!!)–that I’ve neglected celebrating those who did. I’m particularly excited for Khandi Alexander and Regina King, both who have been snubbed by the Academy previously…Alexander for Treme and The Corner and King for Southland.

    That said…

    Preach, Jesssica. Preach.

    • Yes, oh my goodness gracious, Tracee Ellis Ross and Constance Wu. While Wu’s character still fits quite a few stereotypes about Asian moms, she’s just such a strong independent woman who gives no fucks. AND TRACEE. Has anyone else seen her youtube videos about exploring rap/hip hop songs? SHE’S BRILLIANT.

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