Egyptian-American Rami Malek Wins Historic Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama Series

Mr. Robot's Rami Malek is the first non-white actor to win the Emmys' Best Actor in a Drama Series category in 18 years.

Last night’s Emmys–the most diverse in the awards show’s 68-year history–were a beacon of hope in an entertainment industry known for #OscarsSoWhite. For the first time, actors of color were nominated for awards in every leading acting category. Of the 73 nominations in the lead and supporting categories for comedy, drama, and miniseries, 18 of the nominees were people of color.

And the Emmy’s major strides didn’t stop with the nominations.

Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang picked up Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for their spectacular second episode of Master of None, “Parents,” which explores dynamics between second-generation Americans and their immigrant parents.

Key & Peele took home Outstanding Variety Sketch Series. Regina King walked away with her second Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie in a row for her role as Terri Lacroix in American Crime. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story’s Courtney B. Vance (Johnnie Cochran) and Sterling K. Brown (Christopher Darden) won awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series Or Movie and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series Or Movie respectively.

Among the biggest winners last night was Rami Malek, star of the USA Network drama Mr. Robot. The son of Egyptian immigrant parents, Malek, 35, made history with his Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of the anti-social hacker Elliot Alderson in the show’s debut season. His win marks the first time a non-white actor has won the category in 18 years, when Andre Braugher was awarded the best actor Emmy for Homicide: Life on the Street in 1998. It also makes Malek the first Egyptian-American to win an Emmy acting award.

Malek quoted his character when he took to the stage to receive his award: “Please tell me you’re seeing this too," he joked before thanking Mr. Robot showrunner and fellow Egyptian-American, Sam Esmail.

“I play a young man who is, I think like so many of us, profoundly alienated,” the TV star went on to say. “I want to honor the Elliots. Right, because there’s a little bit of Elliot in all of us, isn’t there?”

Backstage at the awards, Malek continued to reflect on the award’s significance.

“For me to stand here as not the typical leading man, and to have come home with this, I think speaks a lot about where we’re headed, and I think we can just keep going further in that direction. Obviously, not just limited to entertainment, but socially and politically, to continue and strive to be as progressive as possible.”

Asked if he relates to his Mr. Robot character at all, Malek responded: “We live in a world right now where so many of us feel voiceless, like we’re not being heard by our governments; we’re not being heard by our society. I grew up in a family that immigrated here. My dad worked door-to-door to sell insurance, and my mom was pregnant with my brother and I, taking three buses going to work, so they would give their children an opportunity to be special. My sister’s an ER doctor, my brother’s a teacher, and I’m standing here today. I think a lot of people can relate to wanting an opportunity; and I’ve wanted an opportunity, and now I have it. And I just want everyone, no matter how you grew up, your socioeconomic standard that you were born into, to have an opportunity regardless. To not be stifled in this time in the world, but to be given a chance like I’ve been given a chance.”

Congrats, Rami!

News Brief
Photo: Getty

Here's What You Need To Know About The Political Unrest In Sudan

Thousands have been protesting the Sudanese government over the weekend, supporting the military's plans for a coup.

Sudan's transitional government is in turmoil as thousands of citizens conducted a sit-in protest against them, over the weekend. A group of Sudanese citizens have called on the military to disestablish the nation's current government, as the country struggles with the greatest crisis they've seen since the end of former dictator Omar al-Bashir's controversial ruling, two years ago. The weekend's pro-military protests come as anti-military protestors took to the streets earlier this month to fight for civilian-ruled laws.

Military-aligned demonstrators assembled outside of the famously off-limits entrance of the Presidential Palace located in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum on Monday. Gatherers set up tents, blocking off access to two main intersections, cutting off access to the capital for those inside. Police attempted to wave off crowds with teargas, with Khartoum state officials saying they had, "repelled an attempted assault on the seat of government," in a statement issued Monday.

The assembly was called for by a coalition of rebel groups and political parties that support Sudan's military, accusing the civilian political parties of mismanagement and monopolizing power under their ruling. Demonstrations began on Saturday, but Sunday's gathering saw a lower attendance. According to Reuters, by Monday afternoon, thousands, between 2,000 - 3,000, had returned to voice their concerns. 52-year-old tribal elder Tahar Fadl al-Mawla spoke at the helm of the sit-in outside of the Presidential palace saying, "The civilian government has failed. We want a government of soldiers to protect the transition." Alongside a 65-year-old Ahman Jumaa who claimed to have traveled more than 900 kilometers (570 miles) from Southern region Nyala to show his support.

Protesters are demanding the appointment of a new cabinet that is "more representative of the people who participated in the December 2019 revolution that eventually led to the ousting of former president Omar al-Bashir", Al Jazeera reported from Sudan. Protesters headed towards the Presidential Palace, where an emergency cabinet meeting was being held when they were met by police forces.

Pro-civilian political parties have plans for their own demonstration on Thursday, the anniversary of the 1964 revolution that overthrew Sudan's first military regime under Ibrahim Abboud and brought in a period of democracy that the country still struggles to uphold.

Sudanese Twitter users shared their thoughts online, with many drawing similarities between the current unrest and other political crises the nation has faced.

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