The 2017 Emmy Nominations Are Here and Queerer Than Ever

It’s that time of year again! Hollywood awards season! I know what you’re thinking: Heather, the United States of America is a hellfire right now; I simply cannot bring myself to care about a goddamn awards show. But, reader, that’s only because I haven’t yet told you that Samira Wiley got her first Emmy nomination. Best supporting actress in a drama series for The Handmaid’s Tale. (Now, don’t you feel bad for swearing at me?)

The good news doesn’t stop there, though; this year’s batch of Emmy nominations, which were announced this morning, are the queerest ones ever. Evan Rachel Wood, best lead actress in a drama series for Westworld. Lily Tomlin, best lead actress in a comedy series for Grace and Frankie. Kate McKinnon, best supporting actress in a comedy series for Saturday Night Live. Ellen Page‘s Gaycation with Ellen Page for best unstructured reality series. Laverne Cox and Shannon Purser, best guest actress in a drama. Wanda Sykes, best guest actress in a comedy. Jamie Babbit is up for outstanding director in a comedy series for her episode of Silicon Valley. Jane Lynch got a nod for best actress in a short form for Dropping the Soap. And Lena Waithe scored a writing nomination for her “Thanksgiving” episode of Master of None.

Okay, and that’s just the humans. So many TV shows with queer characters were nominated. Master of None, Modern Family, VeepThe Handmaid’s TaleRuPaul’s Drag Race, Portlandia, SNL, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, House of Cards, How to Get Away with Murder, Ray Donovan, Transparent, Orange Is the New Black. Brown Girls, One Day at a Time. Even Black Mirror‘s “San Junipero” got a nomination for best TV movie.

Oh, but wait, there’s more: A record 25 people of color were nominated for acting awards this year (up from 22 in 2016). This is also the first year since 1970 that more than one show centering on people of color was nominated in a major category. Atlanta, black-ish, and Master of None are nominated for best comedy series. Yes, this is the future liberals want.

Here’s a full list of nominees.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Claire Foy, The Crown
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Keri Russell, The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Lead Actress in a Limited Series/TV Movie
Carrie Coon, Fargo
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan
Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Jane Fonda, Grace & Frankie
Allison Janney, Mom
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Lily Tomlin, Grace & Frankie

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Vanessa Bayer, Saturday Night Live
Kathryn Hahn, Transparent
Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live
Judith Light, Transparent
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

Supporting Actress in a TV Movie/Limited Series
Judy Davis, Feud: Bette and Joan
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Jackie Hoffman, Feud: Bette and Joan
Regina King, American Crime
Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies
Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies

Guest Actress in a Drama Series

Alison Wright, The Americans
Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale
Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away With Murder
Ann Dowd, The Leftover
Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black
Shannon Purser, Stranger Things

Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Wanda Sykes, black-ish
Carrie Fisher, Catastrophie
Beck Ann Baker, Girls
Angela Bassett, Master of None
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Melssa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live

Comedy Series
Master of None
Modern Family
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Drama Series
Better Call Saul
The Crown
The Handmaid’s Tale
House of Cards
Stranger Things
This Is Us

TV Movie
Black Mirror: San Junipero
Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Sherlock: The Lying Detective
The Wizard of Lies

Variety Talk Series
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Late Late Show with James Corden
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Real Time with Bill Maher

Variety Sketch Series
Billy on the Street
Documentary Now!
Drunk History
Saturday Night Live
Tracey Ullman’s Shows

Limited Series
Big Little Lies
Feud: Bette and Joan
The Night of

Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
Project Runway
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Top Chef
The Voice

Structured Reality Program
Antiques Roadshow
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Fixer Upper
Lip Sync Battle
Shark Tank
Who Do You Think You Are

Unstructured Reality Program
Born This Way
Deadliest Catch
Gaycation with Ellen Page
RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked
United Shades of America: With W. Kamau Bell

Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Anthony Hopkins, Westworld
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

Lead Actor in a Limited Series/TV Movie
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Lying Detective
Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies
Ewan McGregor, Fargo
Geoffrey Rush, Genius
John Turturro, The Night Of

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Zach Galifianakis, Baskets
Donald Glover, Atlanta
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Louie Anderson, Baskets
Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Matt Walsh, Veep

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
David Harbour, Stranger Things
Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
John Lithgow, The Crown
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

Supporting Actor in a TV Movie/Limited Series
Bill Camp, The Night Of
Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette and Joan
Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
David Thewlis, Fargo
Stanley Tucci, Feud: Bette and Joan
Michael Kenneth Williams, The Night Of

Host for a Reality/Reality-Competition Program
Alec Baldwin, Match Game
W. Kamau Bell, United Shades of America: With W. Kamau Bell
RuPaul Charles, RuPaul’s Drag Race
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, Project Runway
Gordon Ramsay, MasterChef Junior
Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg, Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party

Stephen Colbert will host the Emmys on Sunday, Sept. 17 on CBS.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. Also Millie Bobby Brown! In Samira’s category!

    Omg, we have to choose between Moira and Eleven?

    If this were between Poussey and Eleven, it would very clearly be Poussey. But between Moira and Eleven? I’m not even sure!


      • She is a child and only she knows!

        But she did do an interview where they asked her what guy she was crushing on and she answered and then said “so now do you want to know who my girl crush is? Paris Jackson.”

  2. Also Shannon Purser was nominated for Guest Actress in a Drama Series Along with Laverne Cox!

      • There are so many categories when you read the full list that I’m surprised I caught it. I did miss Wanda Sykes, though, so I’m glad you saw her nomination!

    • Orphan Black wasn’t eligible this year due to the timing of season 5. Next year, though, ALL OF THE EMMYS FOR TATIANA!

        • Yes! My prediction for next year:

          Lead Actress in a Drama Series

          Tatiana Maslany as Sarah, Orphan Black
          Tatiana Maslany as Cosima, Orphan Black
          Tatiana Maslany as Helena, Orphan Black
          Tatiana Maslany as Rachel, Orphan Black
          Tatiana Maslany as Allison, Orphan Black
          Danielle Brooks as Taystee, Orange is the New Black

          Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

          Tatiana Maslany as M.K., Orphan Black
          Tatiana Maslany as Krystal, Orphan Black
          Samira Wiley as Moira, The Handmaid’s Tale
          Uzo Aduba as Suzanne, Orange Is the New Black
          Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia, The Handmaid’s Tale
          Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Stranger Things

  3. So Laverne Cox’s nomination was for Season 4 of OitNB, right? I think so? I’m delighted for her either way but it wouldn’t really make sense for Season 5. It also wouldn’t make sense that Danielle Brooks WOULDN’T be nominated for Season 5, obviously, and since actual nice things happened today, I’m sticking with “it was for Season 4.”

  4. On a non-queer note, I love that both Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange are nominated for Feud.

  5. There were so many great performances this year. So many of the women I love got nominated for things. Samira Wiley is owed the entire world if I have anything to say about it. And yet I’m still sitting here like “Mandy Moore didn’t get nominated for This Is US!!!!” I know that category is stacked but come on.

    Also, Sam Junipero getting nominated for Best TV Movie has me cackling. So deserved though.

  6. I really hope Alec Baldwin doesn’t win and Tituss Burgess wins, because he(Alec) is kinda an awful person IRL. I also hope Wanda wins, because she just all around funny. Side note: I hope she is in the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm because she keeping Larry in check will never get old.

  7. so glad to see judith light being recognized for her work on the iconic show ‘to shell and back’

  8. so glad to see judith light being recognized for her work on the iconic show ‘to shell and back’

    • I suspect this song is going to make appearances in a whole lot of queer weddings.

      • As someone who has worshiped Belinda Carlisle since childhood (literally she’s why my hair has been red since the 80s), who gets made fun of for still buying her solo work and seeing her shows to this day, may I say how wonderful it feels that her biggest hit is now a ladyqueer anthem?


  9. I am so excited that San Junipero got the nomination, when the Golden Globes rolled around they overlooked it in favor of the episode with Bryce Dallas Howard (bigger named actress I guess) but San Junipero was amazing. And I will never listen to Heaven is a Place on Earth the same way again and I’m okay with that.

    ALso YES! for Uzo Aduba. If I’m not mistaken though this is for her work in season 4 not 5. But season 4 was still amazing for her, she should have this on lock.

  10. Great list. Looks like I’m mostly watching all the right show. ;-)

    I’m sad Lena Dunham isn’t on the list for writing. The last season was really great. Clearly we are living in the age of Peak TV where it hard to acknowledge all the good things being made today.

    • We truly are living in the peak TV times. That’s why I don’t understand people that say they don’t watch TV. They’re missing out

  11. Overall I’m pleased by the nominations. A bit sad to see that The Americans wasn’t nominated for Best Drama but hopeful for their final season to make the cut in 2018.

    Very into the fact that pretty much all the lead actress nominations are for 40+ aged actresses. Movies mostly play into the archaic stereotype that women are young and hot, then old and barren; that there’s no other options and nothing in between. I love that television has become the place to offer up nuanced and even sometimes female driven spaces for women to explore the middle between youth and actual old age (as opposed to Hollywood old age). There’s so much life in there and so many stories to tell. And you can tell by the way that these shows are binged, tweeted about and then written about, that we are so hungry for this content.

    We’re on the right track but still itching to see:
    – many more POC in leading roles
    – more roles for minority POC (e.g. east Asian)
    – 1000% more women behind the camera, in the writing room, producing shows, being show runners etc.
    – trans characters played by trans people
    – more diverse body types on screen

    • I was bummed too at the lack of appreciation for the Americans, but at least our beloved Martha has been nominated. All the awards should go to Martha!

  12. First off, it was just so refreshing to see this with the actors’ categories listed last—a small thing but very satisfying to read so many women’s names first.

    Second, I’m really excited about all the queer women and people of color nominated this year, and also pleasantly surprised to see that Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg got nominated for their new show. I only watched the first episode, but the premise is so perfectly absurd and it was hilarious.

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