If 2017 taught us anything, it’s that the age of the straight white male domination is over. Finally, women, people of colour and the LGBT community are making strides in the entertainment industry, creating movies and music that captivated audiences everywhere, proving that these untold stories and histories are as universal as ever. This year was full of historic wins and accomplishments for minority groups—check out our favourites below.
This year’s Emmys were huge win for the minority community. English actor Riz Ahmed took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his performance in The Night Of, and became the first Muslim and South Asian actor to win a lead acting Emmy.
Donald Glover’s win for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series was another historical win. Glover is now the first African-American to win in the category. He also took the award for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series that night. No biggie.
Lena Waite became the first black woman to win Best Writing in a Comedy Series at the Emmys for the brilliant coming-out episode of Master Of None. In her emphatic acceptance speech, she shouts out her LGBTQIA family, saying, “The things that make us different – those are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door and put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world, because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.”
The stunning film directed by Barry Jenkins took home the coveted Best Picture award at this year’s Oscars. Despite the controversy of the awarding (doesn’t that whole La La Land/Moonlight mix up seems like forever ago?), it was still monumental—it was the first film with an all-black cast and first LGBT film to win the award. Additionally, Mahershala Ali, who took home Best Supporting Actor, became the first Muslim to win an acting Oscar.
Other than having one of the most viral songs this year, this regular degular shmegular girl from the Bronx also became the first female rapper to top the charts since Lauryn Hill in 1998. Talk about making money moves.
New York-born comedian Hari Kondobolu took on one of the biggest South Asian stereotypes in media—Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from The Simpsons. In his doc, The Problem With Apu, he addresses the issue with Apu, who is shockingly voiced by Caucasian voice actor Hank Azaria. With the help of other notable celebs of colour including Aziz Ansari, Hassan Minhaj, and Whoopi Goldberg, the film dives into the troubled history of Asian representation in media, empowering minorities and finally demanding change from The Simpsons writers and producers.