Tracee Ellis Ross Is The 1st Black Woman In 30 Years To Snag A Best Comedy Actress Emmy Nom
This Sunday we will find out if Tracee Ellis Ross will be the winner of this year's Emmy for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Comedy Series. But she's already made history simply for being nominated.
Ross is the first black woman to be nominated for the award in 30 years, for her role as Rainbow "Bow" Johnson, on ABC's black-ish.
Prior to her was Phylicia Rashad in 1986, who was nominated for her role as Clair Huxtable in The Cosby Show. Only five black actresses have ever been nominated in the category: Diahann Carroll (Julia); Isabel Sanford (The Jeffersons); Nell Carter (Gimme a Break!); Rashad and Ross. Between them all there's a total of 13 nominations. However, Sanford is the only to have won the Emmy for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Comedy Series.
"At this age, at this point in my career, to be a first time nominee is extraordinary. To be nominated on behalf of a show that I am so proud of," Ross told ABC. "I have not yet gotten married or had a baby, and this is pretty up there on the list."
"This whole other layer of the historical aspect is mind boggling to me," Ross added. "It adds a whole other layer to this that is extraordinary and wonderful."
In a recent interview with The New York Times Ross spoke of Rashad's influence on her black-ish character.
"She revolutionized the way the wife role was seen, and she played it beautifully. Women playing a nuanced role in life has been happening for eons, but on TV it's been few and far between," Ross said. "In 2016, we're still trying to get the wife role to match who we are in life, which is people who are many things, not just wives. Phylicia Rashad was one of those people who let women see themselves as we are and added an aspirational quality."
Here's to hoping that Ross makes even more history when the Emmys air this Sunday.