By Patrick Kelleher | Pink News via Pride Nation
Zendaya made history, Lizzo ended Drag Race‘s winning streak and The White Lotus dominated at the 2022 Emmys.
Those were just some of the highlights at the jam-packed awards ceremony, which took place in Los Angeles on Monday night (12 September).
There were meme-worthy moments, iconic acceptance speeches, and some of the usual comedy sketches – as is always the case, some landed and some didn’t.
Here are five of the biggest moments from the night.
1. Zendaya makes history at the 2022 Emmys
Zendaya, who is just 26, won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the second time for her star-making turn in Euphoria.
Zendaya’s extraordinary victory officially made her the youngest two-time Emmy winner in history. She’s also the first Black woman to win the Emmy for lead actress in a drama series twice.
In a moving acceptance speech, Zendaya thanked the cast and crew of Euphoria for creating a “safe space” to make what she described as a “very difficult show”.
“My greatest wish for Euphoria was that it could help heal people and I just want to say thank you to everyone who has shared their story with me.
“I want you to know that anyone who has loved a Rue or feels like they are a Rue, I want you to know that I’m so grateful for your stories and I carry them with me and I carry them with her.”
2. Lizzo is officially an Emmy winner
Lizzo took home the Emmy for Outstanding Competition Program for her show Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls, and it’s safe to say her victory was well deserved.
Taking to the stage, Lizzo delivered a plea to the television industry to “tell more stories”.
“When I was a little girl all I wanted to see was me in the media – someone fat like me, Black like me, beautiful like me.”
Lizzo’s surprise victory means that she’s put an end to RuPaul’s Drag Race‘s four year winning streak in that category. And after her Grammys successes, she’s now half-way to an EGOT.
3. Murray Bartlett winning for The White Lotus sent gays into a tailspin
Murray Bartlett, who won a new legion of fans by doing a whole lot of rimming in The White Lotus, took home the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, and it was truly a moment to behold.
“Thank you so much to the Academy for inviting me up here, I’m truly honoured,” he said in his acceptance speech.
He went on to thank his partner Max for being his “sanctuary” – cue gays everywhere dissolving into puddles – and he paid tribute to his mother.
The White Lotus captured the interest of queer audiences when it debuted in 2021 – it became one of the big winners at the Emmys, picking up a number of major awards.
4. Sheryl Lee Ralph singing on stage was the defining moment of the night
There’s no denying it – Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph won the entire night with her powerful acceptance speech and her rendition of “Endangered Species” at the Emmy Awards.
The actress won in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the sitcom, which quickly won critical acclaim when it debuted on ABC.
Taking to the stage, an emotional Ralph belted out a few lines of Dianne Reeves’ “Endangered Species” before delivering a message to those watching at home.
“To anyone who has ever, ever, had a dream and thought your dream wasn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t come true, I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like, this is what striving looks like, and don’t you ever, ever, give up,” the Broadway icon said.
Emmy watchers quickly declared it “the greatest Emmy speech of all time” on social media.
5. Jimmy Kimmel’s stunt during Quinta Brunson’s acceptance speech did not go down well
Quinta Brunson was yet another history-maker at the 2022 Emmys – she picked up the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for Abbott Elementary, making her only the second Black woman to win in that category.
Sadly, Brunson’s victory was slightly overshadowed by an attempt at comedy from Jimmy Kimmel.
Presenter Will Arnett dragged Kimmel on stage to present the award before joking that he had drunk too much after losing in the Outstanding Variety Talk Series category.
That would have been fine in itself if he didn’t stay lying there on the stage for the duration of Brunson’s speech.
Taking to the stage, Brunson joked: “Jimmy wake up, I won!” but the comedian continued to lie there on the ground.
Social media was not impressed at Kimmel’s stunt – many felt that it overshadowed Brunson’s much-deserved moment in the spotlight.
To make matters worse, the Emmys played Brunson off the stage – something those watching at home were quick to remark on.