In an interview with Jezebel, Lynn Whitfield, who stars in the OWN series Greenleaf and in Sanaa Lathan’s upcoming Netflix film Nappily Ever After, talked about the performative lengths awards shows go to in order to highlight perceived diversity. Case in point: Monday night’s Emmy Awards, where Regina King broke the streak of white winners when she won for best lead actress in a limited series for her role in Seven Seconds. “It is her third Emmy, and for that I am just so happy for her,” Whitfield told Jezebel. “The awards shows are becoming more diverse, but my prayer is that none of the diversity is gratuitous, [that] none of the diversity is patronizing, that the diversity isn’t just sort of dangling little bits to satisfy groups of people.”
She added, “Every now and then, I get the feeling of well let’s just satisfy some people so they won’t bitch. I’m just hoping that it’s real, and that it’s actually moving forward mercurially, together, never to go back to the way it was.”
Watch the video above, where she also reflects on her own Emmy win for The Josephine Baker Story in 1991.
Senior Producer: Jennifer Perry. Associate Producer: Kayra Clouden