Samira Wiley, Sarah Paulson, Lily Tomlin, Ryan Murphy lead outstanding field of LGBTQ Emmy award nominees

Samira Wiley, Sarah Paulson, Lily Tomlin, Evan Rachel Wood, and American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace led an outstanding field of LGBTQ nominees for the 70th Annual Emmy Awards, which were announced Thursday morning from the Television Academy's headquarters in North Hollywood, Calif. A total of 10 out actors received nominations this year in the comedy, drama, and limited series/movie acting categories.

Wiley, who was awarded GLAAD's Vito Russo Award at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City this past May, read the announcements live alongside Ryan Eggold. Wiley was congratulated on stage after being nominated for the second year in a row for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Moira in The Handmaid's Tale.

“Today's list of Emmy nominees is a milestone moment for LGBTQ inclusion on television," said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. "With a surge of out actors and creators nominated alongside LGBTQ-inclusive scripted programming and LGBTQ-focused shows like Queer Eye and RuPaul's Drag Race, the Television Academy is finally reflecting how audiences and critics embrace diverse LGBTQ images on television. Emmy voters today sent a clear message of inclusion and acceptance which should be a signal for Hollywood to continue to tell powerful and impactful LGBTQ stories.”

Ryan Murphy's American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace received a total of 18 nominations, including one for Outstanding Limited Series. Out actor Ricky Martin was nominated for Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for playing Gianni's lover Anthony D'Amico. LGBTQ allies Darren Criss, Judith Light, Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez, and Finn Wittrock were all nominated for their respective roles. Murphy himself was nominated for directing.

In the lead acting categories, Lily Tomlin was nominated for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Grace & Frankie (her 25th Emmy nomination!), Evan Rachel Wood was nominated for Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Westworld, and Sarah Paulson was nominated for Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for American Horror Story: Cult

Additional out actors who received nominations included Titus Burgess for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Kate McKinnon for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (NBC's Saturday Night Live), Cherry Jones for Guest Actress in a Drama Series (Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale), and Wanda Sykes and Jane Lynch for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (ABC's black-ish and Amazon Prime's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, respectively).

Other nominated shows with prominent LGBTQ characters and storylines include Netflix's Godless (Outstanding Limited Series) and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Outstanding Comedy Series).

Additional allies nominated for playing prominent LGBTQ roles included Megan Mullally for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for reprising her iconic role as Karen Walker in NBC's Will & Grace, Sandra Oh for Lead Actress in a Drama Series (BBC America's Killing Eve; also making her the first Asian-American woman ever nominated in this category), Tatiana Maslany (also) for Lead Actress in a Drama Series (BBC America's Orphan Black), Ron Cephas Jones for Guest Actor in a Drama Series (NBC's This Is Us), Merritt Weaver for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (Netflix's Godless), Viola Davis for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for playing her How To Get Away With Murder character - Annalise Keating - in ABC's Scandal, and Alexis Bledel for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale).

LGBTQ-inclusive shows made a huge showing in the reality categories again this year, with RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1), The Voice (NBC), The Amazing Race (CBS), and Project Runway (Lifetime) all receiving nominations for Reality-Competition Program. Netflix's Queer Eye received a nomination for Structured Reality Program and RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked was nominated for Unstructured Reality Program. 


The Host For a Reality or Reality-Competition Program category was especially queer, with 4 of the 5 slots being filled by RuPaul, Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen's Game of Games), Tim Gunn (alongside Heidi Klum), and Lynch (NBC's Hollywood Game Night). 

Director Carrie Brownstein was nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series for her work on IFC's Portlandia. The show was also nominated for Variety Sketch Series.

Cartoon Network's Steven Universe, a GLAAD Media Award-nominated series that recently aired a highly-emotional wedding story arc, was nominated for Outstanding Short-Form Animated Program.

Composer Benj Pasek was nominated for co-composing the song "In The Market For a Miracle" from FOX's A Christmas Story Live! Mark Rivers was nominated for the song "Totally Gay" from Netflix's Big Mouth.

Travis Wall was nominated again for Outstanding Choreography for FOX's So You Think You Can Dance?

Transgender Oscar nominee Yance Ford was nominated for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking for Netflix's Strong Island.

Gay of Thrones was nominated for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series. Jonathan Van Ness (Queer Eye) was nominated as an executive producer and he also co-hosts.

Netflix led all networks in nominations this year with 118, followed by HBO with 108, and NBC with 78. Game of Thrones was this year's most nominated show with 22, followed by Saturday Night Live and Westworld (tied with 21), The Handmaid's Tale (20) and American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace (18).