Having a hot streak of a night at the 2020 Emmy Awards tonight, Watchmen capped it just now with an Outstanding Limited Series win and a call to meet the challenges of history and today.
“History is mystery, it is broken into a million puzzle pieces and many are missing,” said series creator Damon Lindelof on Sunday in his acceptance speech for the HBO show. “We know where those pieces are, but we don’t seek them out because we know finding them will hurt,” he added in a “Remember Tulsa ’21” t-shirt and standing in front of the masked writing and producing Watchmen team. “Sometimes we cause that hurt, maybe we even benefited from it, but we have to name it before we can repair it.”
2020 Emmys Winners List (Updating Live)
“Be careful, be clumsy, run hot, stay cool, be the bull in the china shop, pick up what you broke and glue it back together,” Lindelof went on to say in one of the most passionate speeches of a night of passionate speeches. “Don’t stop until it’s great, affirm, it’s never great enough. Dissent, be consistent, embrace paradox, never contradict yourself.
“And finally, stop worrying about getting cancelled and asked yourself what you are doing to get renewed,” the Lost alum concluded. “We dedicated this award to the victims and survivors of the Tulsa Massacre of 1921. The fires that destroyed Black Wall Street still burn today, the only way to put them out is if we all fight them together. God bless, stay safe, thank you for this, I’m going to go throw up.”
Having become even more poignant and prescient in the coronavirus pandemic and the renewed spotlight on racial injustice and police brutality since the killing of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd earlier this year, the Peabody Awards winning and Regina King-led series from Leftovers co-creator Lindelof looked at an alt-history America grappling with masked realities, cultural appropriation and trauma, and white supremacy rearing its ugly hooded head anew.
Based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ iconic comic series from the 1980s and inspired in part by Ta-Nehisi Coates, HBO’s Watchmen went into the Emmys with 26 nominations, the most of any show or series this year. The King, Jeremy Irons, Yahya Abdul Mateen II, Louis Gossett Jr. and Jean Smart starring nine-episode show entered tonight having already snared seven wins at the Creative Arts Emmys last week.
On Sunday, King scored her fourth Emmy with her Watchmen Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie win and Lindelof and a therapist thanking Cord Jefferson took the trophy for Outstanding Writing. Irons and Short came up short, but Abul Mateen won the Supporting Actor category in which he competed with Oscar winner Gossett Jr.
Along with odd-on favorite Watchmen, Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere and FX on Hulu’s Mrs. America were also nominated in the Best Limited Series category, as was Netflix’s Unbelievable and Unorthodox.
Lindelof executive produced Watchmen with Nicole Kassell and Tom Spezialy. Having debuted on October 20, 2019, the limited series is produced for HBO by White Rabbit in association with Warner Bros. Television.