The 70th Prime Time Emmy Awards went down this evening, and while the celebrity fashion took center stage— idid you see Tracee Ellis Ross’ dress?!— in an election year when so many citizens and celebrities have been vocal about social justice, American politics also played a significant role.
To kick off an evening filled with political jokes and allusions, some actors made strong political statements throughout the night. For example, despite the noteworthy lack of Latinx actors and actresses nominated and represented during the show, other actors spoke out in support of Latinx families affected by recent government policies.
During the Live from the Red Carpet E! Pre-show, Padma Lakshmi, Evan Rachel Wood, and others arrived wearing blue pins in support of the ACLU.
“We are at a crucial time for women and civil rights,” said Evan Rachel Wood. “I’m here supporting the ACLU and the fight to reunite immigrant families that have been separated at the border.”
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“I’m excited to wear this beautiful J. Mendel dress again. I think in this day and age, we should stop sending the message to young women and girls that we all have these endless closets of clothes we never wear more than once, especially on a red carpet.” -#PadmaLakshmi on repeating a dress at the #Emmys. Do you agree? (We do!)
The cast of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story took home the award for Outstanding Limited Series, at which point Ryan Murphy spoke out in support of the LGBTQIA community, while the cast—including Penelope Cruz and Ricky Martin—nodded along emphatically.
Well deserved. Congrats to the cast and crew of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story on their Emmy win for Outstanding Limited Series. #ACSVersace #Emmys pic.twitter.com/suSyQqjfyP
— American Crime Story FX (@ACSFX) September 18, 2018
Jennifer Lewis also shook up the red carpet with a jaw-dropping, celebratory tribute to Colin Kaepernick and Nike’s recent campaign to support Black NFL players who, following Kaepernick’s lead, began kneeling during the National Anthem as a symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement.
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A year ago, it would have been a bold fashion statement. Now, it’s a political one. @jeniferlewisforreal, of ABC’s “Black-ish,” showed up to the #Emmys wearing head-to-toe Nike to show support for Colin Kaepernick. “Thank you for leading the resistance,” she said to Nike. (Photo via Jordan Strauss/Invision/Ap)
In addition to messages that supported causes related to people of color, many celebrities promoted broader bipartisan messages about voting during the show.
During her big award win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Rachel Brosnahan reminded viewers to vote, saying “If you haven’t already registered, do it on your cell phone right now. Vote. Show up. And bring a friend to the polls.”
Other attendees, such as Allison B Janney, were seen wearing black and white pins that simply stated: “I am a voter.”
Their political messages came on the tails of a major announcement made on the morning of the Emmy Awards. A collective of entertainment and media heavyweights, including Ad Council, AMC Theatres, Anonymous Content, ATTN:, AwesomenessTV, Bad Robot, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), DoSomething.org, Entertainment Industry Foundation, iHeartMedia, Lyft, SB Projects, TOMS, Tumblr, Univision Communications, VICE Media and more, announced the creation of The Civic Culture Coalition—a group committed to sparking increased cultural engagement in democracy.
According to the Coalition’s recent announcement, they launched the I am a voter. campaign supported by actresses like Janney. The campaign is “a nonpartisan public awareness campaign powered by pop culture to shift the way Americans think about voting and ultimately increase turnout in the 2018 midterm elections and beyond.”
Not only did celebrities promote the campaign on the red carpet this evening, but many of fashion’s biggest icons also supported the campaign during September 2018 New York Fashion Week last week by wearing the pin, including Maria Cornejo, Cynthia Rowley, Waris Ahluwalia, Debra Messing, and more.
Undoubtedly, 2018 will continue to be a year in which we see countless celebrities representing various causes related to improving the civic engagement of our culture. For those who hope to get more politically involved themselves, the Coalition suggests they text VOTER to 26797 for relevant information about the elections.