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Another year of Emmy Awards is in the books. As always, the award show on Monday night featured upsets and snubs, predictable victories, and powerful acceptance speeches. The Emmys 2022 also had a handful of historic wins, making it a huge night for stars like Zendaya, Quinta Brunson, Lee Jung-jae, and more. Here’s a breakdown of their big moments.

Zendaya poses with her Emmy Award after historic wins at the Emmys 2022
Zendaya poses with her award after her 2-in-1 historic wins at the Emmys 2022. | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Sheryl Lee Ralph is the second Black woman to win an Emmy in the Supporting Actress in a Comedy category

After more than 40 years in show business, Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph took home her first-ever Emmy Award. She made history as only the second Black woman to win the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The first win came from Jackée Harry, who took home the Emmy for 227 in 1987.

Ralph celebrated her incredible victory by belting out the opening lines to Dianne Reeves’ 1993 song “Endangered Species,” showing off her Broadway experience. The former Dreamgirls star also shared an empowering message with viewers to never give up.

“To anyone who has ever, ever had a dream, and thought your dream wasn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t come true, I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like. This is what striving looks like. And don’t you ever, ever give up on you,” she said.

Lee Jung-jae had a historic night as the first Asian winner of Lead Actor in a Drama Series at the Emmys 2022

Earlier this year, Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae made history as the first actor from a non-English language show to win Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series at the SAG Awards. He repeated that success at the Emmys 2022, becoming the first Asian actor to win Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Jung-jae was also the first to win for a non-English role.

“I still feel like I am living a dream,” he told Deadline after his Emmy win.

Zendaya had 2 historic wins in 1 with her Lead Actress in a Drama Series award at the Emmys 2022

Zendaya made Emmys history for the second time with her Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series win for Euphoria. In 2020, she became the youngest woman to win in the category at the age of 24. Additionally, she was only the second Black woman to win after Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder) in 2015. Now, she’s the youngest two-time Emmy winner in the category, and the first Black woman to win twice in the category.

‘Squid Game’ is the first non-English drama to win the Emmy for Directing for a Drama Series


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Squid Game’s year of historic wins continued at the Emmys 2022. Director Hwang Dong-hyuk took home the award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, making Squid Game the first non-English drama to win in the category. The show went up against three Succession entries, Yellowjackets, Severance, and Ozark.

Dong-hyuk reminded viewers that he couldn’t have made history with Squid Game on his own.

“People keep telling me, like, I made history, but I don’t think I made history by myself. Because it was you who opened up the doors for Squid Game, inviting us here tonight at the Emmys,” he said. “I truly hope that Squid Game won’t be the last non-English series to be here at the Emmys, and I also hope this won’t be my last Emmy either.”

Quinta Brunson had a historic Emmy win as the second Black female writer to win Writing for a Comedy Series

Finally, Abbott Elementary’s third Emmy win — the show won Outstanding Casting in a Comedy Series at the Creative Arts Emmys last week — went to creator Quinta Brunson. She became the second Black female writer to take home the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Lena Waithe won the award for Master of None in 2017 alongside Aziz Ansari. Meanwhile, Brunson is also the third Black writer to win in the category, following Larry Wilmore in 2002 (The Bernie Mac Show) and Waithe.

Check out the full list of winners at the Emmys 2022.