2017 Emmy Awards

2017 Emmy Awards

Updated Sep 18, 2017 at 05:21PM EDT by Matt.

Added Sep 18, 2017 at 11:09AM EDT by Matt.

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The 2017 Emmy Awards, an award show to deliver the highest honors in the television industry, occurred on September 17th, 2017 and were hosted by late-night talkshow host and comedian Stephen Colbert. In addition to dolling out some historic awards, the night also spurred several political controversies, particularly in regards to a cameo by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.


On January 23rd, 2017, The New York Times[1] reported that Stephen Colbert would be hosting the 2017 Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Seven months later, on July 13th, actors Anna Chlumsky, Shemar Moore and Television Academy CEO Hayma Washington announced the nominations for the award show. HBO's Westworld and NBC's Saturday Night Live had the most nominations, 22.[2]


Sean Spicer Cameo

During the show, Stephen Colbert made a joke about the crowd size of the award ceremony, parodying the language of President Donald Trump and his then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer in regards to the size of his inauguration crowd. When he made the joke about the size the crown, Sean Spicer entered the stage on a movable podium and shouted, "This will be the largest audience to witness the Emmys, period. Both in person and around the world."

While the joke received a smattering of murmurs, laughter and applause from the crowd, online Spicer's appearance received a mixed reaction. Some on Twitter were unhappy with his appearance, stating that his cameo "normalized" him. Activist Deray McKesson[3] tweeted "There's nothing funny about the damage he assisted in planning, defended, & celebrated when he worked in The White House." The post (shown below, left) received more than 5,700 retweets and 17,000 likes within 24 hours.

Twitter[4] user @chrissgardner tweeted "What pariah? Sean Spicer getting mobbed in #Emmys lobby. Posing for pics, drinking beer, soaking up all attention after onstage appearance." He also posted several pictures of Spicer backstage. The post (shown below, center) 975 retweets and 1,900 likes within 24 hours.

Comedian Paul F. Thomkins tweeted "What fun to watch @seanspicer having a sense of humor about all the times he lied to the American public! GOOD SPORT!" The post (shown below, right) 2,100 retweets and 11,700 likes in 24 hours.

There's nothing funny about the damage he assisted in planning, defended, & celebrated when he worked in The White House. Variety @Variety @seanspicer borrows @melissamccarthy's podium for a surprise appearance at the #EmmysLB 0:21 What pariah? Sean Spicer getting mobbed in #Emmysan lobby. Posing for pics, drinking beer, soaking up all attention after onstage appearance What fun to watch @seanspicer having a sense of humor about all the times he lied to the American public! GOOD SPORT! #emmys Li

That night, actor Zach Braff tweeted,[14] "I'm not ready to laugh 'with' Sean Spicer. I think he is an evil, opportunistic liar that hurt our country." The tweet (shown below) received more than 12,000 retweets and 56,000 likes in less than 24 hours.

Zach Braff @zachbraff I'm not ready to laugh "with" Sean Spicer. l think he is an evil, opportunistic liar that hurt our country.

Spicer himself commented on the appearance. "It’s an honor," Spicer said. "I have a lot of respect for folks who do what they do in film and on television, so it’s a real honor to be invited. "I had a conversation with Stephen and his executive producer. β€œThey came up with a concept, and I thought it was kinda funny. I said I’d be there."

The moment also spurred conversation on Reddit, inspiring multiple threads on /r/Television,[6] /r/EnoughTrumpSpam,[7] /r/Politics[8] and more. The cameo was also covered by numerous news outlets, including CNN,[9] The Hollywood Reporter,[10] Huffington Post[11] and more.


During the ceremony, comedian and Emmy-winner Dave Chappelle admitted that he missed rehearsal and said, "Now I'm going to read this teleprompter. Please forgive me. Shout out to D.C. Public Schools. Here we go," Chappelle said (shown below, left).[12]

Later in the evening, while accepting the award for Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series (shown below, right), comedian and late-night host John Oliver said, "Like Dave Chapelle, I would like to unexpectedly thank D.C. Public Schools because I think it would be great if it started trending tonight on Twitter for no reason whatsoever. So, if you're tweeting about the Emmys at home, please use the hashtag D.C. Public Schools."

The mentions of D.C. Public Schools caused the hashtag "#DCPublicSchools" to start trending on Twitter. The Twitter account for D.C. Public Schools responded to the mentions, receiving thousands of likes and retweets (examples below, left and center). The most popular tweet[13] was a picture of a little girl with her hand of her mouth and the caption "us right now." The post (shown below, right) received more than 3,100 retweets and 7,900 likes in 24 hours.

DC Public Schools -m. @dcpublicschools @DaveChappelle DC Public Schools @dcpublicschools #dcpublicschools @iamjohnol.ver #Emmys- DC Public Schools @dcpublicschools US right now. #dcpublicschools #emmys

Several media outlets reported on the hashtag including Entertainment Weekly,[18] NBC,[12] The Washington Post[19] and more.

Historical Wins

Throughout the night, awards were given out to performers, artists and creators of different ethnicities, some of which were the first of their respective backgrounds to win. Donald Glover became the first African American to win an Emmy for outstanding directing in comedy for Atlanta.[15] Lena Waithe became the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing on Master of None.[16] Finally, Riz Ahmed won for his performance on HBO's The Night Of, making him the first person of South Asian decant to win an Emmy.[17]

Kevin Spacey Records Julia-Louis Dreyfus

After actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her sixth Emmy for her portrayal of Selena Meyers on the HBO comedy series Veep, nearby Emmy attendee and actor Kevin Spacey could be seen filming the actress on his iPhone. A photo of Spacey holding up his phone and smiling (shown below) soon went viral on Twitter.[20]

As the event was broadcast on television, users on Twitter began tweeting and captioning the photograph of Spacey. Many commented that Spacey resembled a proud parent, similar to the You're doing amazing, sweetie meme (examples below).

Kevin Spacey low key acting like Julia Louis Dreyfus is his kid. #Er mmysan Kevin Spacey just hit Stage Mom status # Emmys Kevin Spacey is going to re-watch Julia Louis-Dreyfus' acceptance speech before he goes to bed #EmmysZA GIF

Search Interest

External References

[1] The New York Times – Stephen Colbert Will Host the Emmy Awards

[2] Variety – Emmys 2017: Full List of Nominations

[3] Twitter – @deray's Tweet

[4] Twitter – @chrissgardner's Tweet

[5] Twitter – @PFTompkins' Tweet

[6] Reddit – Sean Spicer makes surprise cameo at Emmys

[7] Reddit – Sean Spicer rolled out in his podium at the Emmys. Anyone else wish Spicer would not get such invitations to appear? After all, he spent months willfully lying to the American people.

[8] Reddit – Sean Spicer’s Emmy Awards Cameo Was a Sickening, Cynical Laugh Grab

[9] CNN – Sean Spicer tries to clean up his battered image with a surprise Emmy appearance

[10] The Hollywood Reporter – Sean Spicer on His Wild Emmys Night: 'I Thought It Was Kinda Funny'

[11] HuffPost – Angry Viewers Are In No Mood To Laugh At Sean Spicer’s Emmy Jokes

[12] NBC – #DCPublicSchools Trending on Twitter After Dave Chappelle, John Oliver Joke at Emmys

[13] Twitter – @dcpublicschools' Tweet

[14] Twitter – @zachbraff's Tweet

[15] Twitter – Donald Glover makes history at the Emmys

[16] Twitter – The world has its eyes on Lena Waithe

[17] Twitter – Riz Ahmed became the first actor of South Asian descent to win an Emmy

[18] Entertainment Weekly – #DCPublicSchools is trending during the Emmys thanks to Dave Chappelle and John Oliver

[19] The Washington Post – How a Dave Chappelle joke put #DCPublicSchools in the Twitter spotlight


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Top Comments


I thought Spicer's tenure as Speaker was about as effective as poking open your own cold sores but come the fuck on and give him credit for at least acknowledging that people love to take jabs at him for it. The fact the crowd was able to sit there and laugh their asses off at the shots he was taking should say it all about these garbage twitter nontroversies.


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