Emmys Feature A Light Snipe At King Charles III And A Few Quips About Donald Trump, But Lofty Political Speeches Are Fleeting

Perhaps the most controversial part of the Emmys, on a night when political speechifying was fleeting, came at the very end, when Succession‘s Jesse Armstrong attempted to make a quip or light snipe about the British monarchy, now dominating the television landscape following the death of Queen Elizabeth.

“A big week for successions. A new king in the UK. This for us. Evidently there’s a little more voting involved in our winning than Prince Charles,” Armstrong said on stage. Standing next to him, series star Brian Cox seemed to be trying to quiet him up, as he said, “Keep it royalist. Keep it royalist.”

Then Armstrong added, “I’m not saying we’re more legitimate in our position than where he is. We’ll leave that to other people.”

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Other than that moment, seemingly made in jest, this year’s ceremony was largely devoid of partisan statement or attempts to highlight a cause, or the kind that have been sprinkled into winners’ acceptance speeches in past award shows.

There was no reference to Ukraine, as it was during the Oscars this year, nor was there a direct appeal to vote in the midterms, coming on the heels of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe Vs. Wade. There was not even a reference to the Queen’s passing, as she was the first British monarch of the TV age whose life has provided plenty of fodder for screen and stream.

Instead, honorees focused on their families (starting with Michael Keaton for Dopesick) or representation (Lizzo and Sheryl Lee Ralph had some of the most memorable moments).

Presenters did get in some quips about a former nominee: Donald Trump.

With the full story of the FBI’s search of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago property still unfolding, it was to be expected.

“What an audience you are,” said presenter Martin Short. “I wish I could box you up and take you home like classified White House documents.”

In one of the evening’s funnier bits, Bowen Yang quipped to host Kenan Thompson, “I loved White Lotus, but murder isn’t the worst thing that can happen at a resort. You know what is? What the FBI did to my president at Mar-a-Lago!”

It’d be little surprise if Trump commented in some form, given the jokes at his expense and his history with the awards. He’s also had something to say about award show voting after The Apprentice repeatedly failed to win. Well before Trump made his unfounded claim that the 2020 election was rigged, he made similar accusations about the Emmys. “Should have gotten it,” Trump said at the 2016 presidential debate.

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