For the first time in Emmy history, the trophies for all four guest actor categories went to African-American performers. Tiffany Haddish won best guest actress in a comedy for hosting ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Ron Cephas Jones won best guest actor in a drama for ‘This Is Us’, Samira Wiley won best guest actress in a drama for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, and Katt Williams won best guest actor in a comedy for ‘Atlanta’. Both Jones and Wiley had been nominated previously, while Williams and Haddish won in their first year of being nominated. -The wins come amidst a larger push for diversity and inclusion in television, both in front of and behind the camera. As Variety noted when this year’s Emmy nominees were announced, 36 non-white actors were nominated this year, up 20% from the year before. The four guest categories — which date back to 1989 — have been awarded to actors of color before, including in 2003, when Charles S. Dutton won for ‘Without A Trace’ and Alfre Woodard won for ‘The Practice’, as well as 2014, when Uzo Aduba triumphed for ‘Orange is the New Black’ along with Joe Morton for ‘Scandal’. While the Motion Picture Academy has struggled to recognise actors of color, the TV Academy has been breaking records with each year. Last year, for example, Lena Waithe made history as the first black woman to win for comedy writing. And Sterling K. Brown is poised to repeat for his dramatic work on ‘This Is Us’, as is Donald Glover for his performance on the FX comedy ‘Atlanta’. Meanwhile, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” emerged with momentum after the first night of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. ‘Game of Thrones’ went into the night as the pace-setter, having nabbed 22 Emmy nominations. ‘Thrones’ finished out the night with seven wins. FX’s limited series ‘Gianni Versace’ bagged four wins — including for contemporary costumes, appropriately enough. The haul for ‘Thrones’ helped HBO maintain a comfortable lead among networks with 13 wins so far, followed by 10 for Netflix and seven for FX. The network race is closely watched this year because Netflix elbowed HBO out of the top spot in total nominations for the first time in 18 years. Hulu and NBC both claimed four awards during the nearly three-hour ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, while Amazon took home three. Another 40-plus awards will be handed out Sunday night, the conclusion of the two-night Creative Arts Awards ceremonies. The remaining Emmys will be handed out Sept. 17 in a ceremony telecast live on NBC. Published in Daily Times, September 10th 2018.