History was officially made at the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy awards last night. Donald Glover was nominated for his directing work on Atlanta. Specifically, for the episode B.A.N. And he won. That marks the first time in the history of the Emmys that a black director took home the prize in the Directing for a Comedy Series category. Glover beat out Jamie Babbit (Silicon Valley), Mike Judge (Silicon Valley), Morgan Sackett (Veep), David Mandel (Veep) and Dale Stern (Veep) in order to bring home his historic win.
Atlanta was one of the most critically praised new shows to debut in 2017 and it got plenty of love during the Emmys this year, but it is Donald Glover's win for directing that truly stands out. Considering that directors in the category are nominated for specific episodes, it is pretty surprising that no black director has ever won the award prior to now. As the saying goes, better late than never. Donald Glover spoke with USA Today backstage after his history-making win. Here's what he had to say.
"It's been a pretty good year...I know some people had an awful one, but mine was Ok. I don't know what's happening right now. It feels like a dream. I'm glad I was able to make history. But that's not what I was trying to do. I was just trying to make the best product possible. I was trying to make a really good show."
Not only did Donald Glover bring home the Emmy for directing, but he also nabbed the comedy actor Emmy as well, making it a big night not only for the 33-year-old artist, but a very big night for Atlanta. During his speech, Glover said, "I wanted to show white people, you don't know everything about black culture." He then followed that up by jokingly thanking Donald Trump for his win saying, "I want to thank Trump for making black people No. 1 on the most-oppressed list. He's probably the reason I'm up here." Atlanta was also nominated for outstanding comedy series, but HBO's Veep came out on top. Though, Glover thinks Atlanta has a good shot next year.
"I was trying to beat Veep this year. Hopefully next year, in their last year. I can do it. I mean that with love. I love their show."
With his directing win last night, Donald Glover also becomes the first director to win for a show in which he acted since Alan Alda won for MASH in 1977. All told, that makes it a pretty huge night that was just a single part of a huge year for Glover. We suspect this won't be the last we see of him in the coming years on awards show podiums. Especially with Atlanta season 2 currently in the works at FX.