Since the inception of the Emmy Awards in 1949, no woman of color has ever won an award for Best Actress in a Drama Series. In the last two decades, a vast majority of Emmy winners have been white, and in the categories for Best Director and Outstanding Writing, the winners have predominantly been male.
"At its core, lack of representation in the entertainment industry or any industry sends the message that people of color are invisible, or other, or not as valuable to our society," a spokeswoman for Lee & Low Books told The Huffington Post. "We all live together, we work together, and in a few more decades the US will be a 'majority/minority' country. It is unacceptable that our media and art still send the message that people of color only exist in the background. Is that the message that we want our children to absorb?"
The Emmy Awards infographic, which has gone viral this week, is part of Lee & Low Books' "Diversity Gap" study series. The company, an independent children’s book publisher that specializes in diversity, has previously released infographics about the diversity gap in the Tony Awards and the children's book industry.
"The lack of representation means there are many wonderful stories that are simply not being told and many talented people whose work we will never come across," the company rep told the HuffPost. "Encouraging diversity at its core also means, simply, encouraging art. And that's good for all of us."
Fingers were crossed this year that "Scandal" actress Kerry Washington would make history by snagging an Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Drama. Washington, who ended up losing to Claire Danes, would've been the first black woman to win that award in the history of the Emmys.
In the image below, Washington is seen onstage at the award ceremony with TV icon Diahann Carroll, who, in 1963, became the first African-American to ever be nominated for an Emmy. They are pictured giving Bobby Cannavale the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role on "Boardwalk Empire":
"We're all very grateful to the Emmys because they've been on our side," Carroll said on the red carpet about African-Americans in the TV industry, according to the Associated Press. "At the same time, we'd like it to be a little more with what's going on in the world."