Courtney B. Vance accepts the Emmy for outstanding guest actor in a drama series for his role as "George Freeman" in the "Whitey's on the Moon" episode of Lovecraft Country during third ceremony of the Television Academy's 2021 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the L.A. LIVE Event Deck on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Los Angeles.
The third Creative Arts Emmys ceremony of 2021, held on Sunday evening, ended similarly to the two that preceded it, with Netflix at the top of the winners’ list. In the year’s final Creative Arts presentation, the streamer added nine awards to its 12 from Saturday and 13 from the first Sunday show, for a weekend total of 34, making it the leader among all platforms. In second position — for both the night and the weekend — was another streamer, Disney+, which scored six Emmys on Sunday evening, for a three-show total of 13.
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In addition to honoring an array of technical and crafts categories, the show included several acting awards.
The awards for guest actress and guest actor in a comedy both went to Saturday Night Live hosts: Maya Rudolph and Dave Chappelle, respectively. It was the second Emmy of the day for Rudolph, who won the award for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance — for Netflix’s Big Mouth — during the first Sunday show.
Claire Foy took the award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for another Netflix show, The Crown — reprising the role of young Queen Elizabeth, for which she won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama in 2018.
Courtney B. Vance won the second Emmy of his career when he was named Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in HBO’s Lovecraft Country, adapted from the Matt Ruff novel by showrunner Misha Green. Accepting the award, Vance reflected on the recent passing of Michael K. Williams, who played his brother in the show (and is nominated for supporting actor in a drama in next Sunday’s 73rd Emmys telecast).
“Misha said it best: Michael did everything with his full heart open, with his infinite spirit and way too much style,” Vance said. “May he rest in power and let us all honor his immense legacy by being a little more love-forward, a little more endless in thought and a little more swaggy in life.”
The winner for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series was Keke Palmer, for the Facebook Watch series Turnt Up with the Taylors. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series went to J.B. Smoove for Mapleworth Murders, which originated at Quibi but will continue at Roku, which acquired the Quibi library when the short-form streamer shuttered in late 2020.
Smoove, who opened the show as the evening’s first presenter, mentioned his nomination and told the audience that he would love to win.
When he got his wish, Smoove was thrilled and humbled. Responding to questions from the media after receiving his award, he spoke about the privilege of having been able to do work he loves for more than 30 years and never taking it for granted: “No stepping on toes, no burning bridges, show up on time, stay late.”
Netflix’s nine Emmys consisted of three for Bo Burnham: Inside (Music Direction, Directing for a Variety Special, Writing for a Variety Special), two for The Queen’s Gambit (Music Composition for a Limited or Anthology Series, Movie or Special (Original Dramatic Score), Casting for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie), two for The Crown (Casting for a Drama Series, Guest Actress in a Drama) and two for Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square (Television Movie, Choreography for Scripted Programming).
Disney+, meanwhile, was led by four for The Mandalorian (Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score), Stunt Performance, Stunt Coordination, Special Visual Effects in a Season or a Movie).
Other platforms with multiple wins included four each for HBO/HBO Max and NBC.
In addition to Vance’s win for guest actor in a drama, HBO won Outstanding Music Supervision for I May Destroy You; Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Series for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; and Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special for David Byrne’s American Utopia. The HBO Max Emmy went to composer Blake Neely, who won Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music for The Flight Attendant.
All four of NBC’s wins were for Saturday Night Live: Rudolph and Chappelle’s guest performer honors, as well as Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Series and Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series, which went to Don Roy King for the fifth year in a row.
Other Emmys of note included:
• Outstanding Short Form Comedy, Drama or Variety Series — Carpool Karaoke: The Series (Apple TV)
• Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series — Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
• Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics — Kristen Anderson López and Robert López, "Agatha All Along," WandaVision (Disney+)
• Outstanding Choreography for Variety or Reality Programming — Derek Hough, Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
• Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Single Episode — Star Trek: Discovery (Paramount+)
• Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Special — Hamilton (Disney+)
• Outstanding Commercial — “You Can’t Stop Us — Nike” (Wieden + Kennedy ad agency, Pulse production company)
Finally, the iconic dancer, choreographer, director, producer and philanthropist Debbie Allen — who will receive the Television Academy’s prestigious Governors Award during the 73rd Emmy Awards telecast — was feted a week early when she won the Emmy for Outstanding Choreography for Scripted Programming for her work on the Netflix production Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square.
Speaking to reporters afterward, Allen, when asked what the honor meant to her after decades of distinguished work, smiled and said, “I’m still in the game — that’s for sure!”
Bob Bain was executive producer of the Creative Arts Emmys for the seventh time. The Television Academy’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards Committee is led by co-chairs Bob Boden and Rich Carter and vice chair Judalina Neira.
FXX will broadcast edited highlights from the Saturday and Sunday Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday, September 18, at 8:00 PM ET/PT.
The 73rd Emmys telecast will air next Sunday, September 19, on CBS, at 5:00 PT/8:00 ET
A complete list of winners is available here.