By Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — “Succession” and “Ted Lasso” topped the Emmy Awards on Monday, in a ceremony that touted the power of TV and extended honors to “Squid Game” and winners who delivered messages of empowerment.
The evening’s uplifting tone, as voiced especially by Zendaya, Lizzo and Sheryl Lee Ralph, was in contrast to the darkness that pervaded the storytelling of best drama series winner “Succession” and even comedy series winner “Ted Lasso.”
“Thanks for making such a safe space to make this very difficult show,” said best drama actress winner Zendaya, claiming her second award for “Euphoria,” which chronicles teens and their tough coming-of-age.
“My greatest wish for “Euphoria’ was that it could help heal people. Thank you for everyone who has shared your story with me. I carry them with me, and I carry them with” her character, Rue, as well, Zendaya said.
“Succession,” about a media empire run by a grasping and cutthroat family, split drama series honors with “Squid Game,” the series about the idle rich turning the poor into entertainment fodder.
Lee Jung-jae of “Squid Game,” who played the show’s moral center, became the first Asian actor to win the best drama series actor Emmy.
Jason Sudeikis and Jean Smart collected back-to-back acting trophies, while Zendaya picked up her second drama actress prize for “Euphoria.”
Several new Emmy winners were minted, with Lizzo and Quinta Brunson and Sheryl Lee Ralph of “Abbott Elementary” collecting trophies.
Sudeikis won his second consecutive trophy for the soccer comedy “Ted Lasso,” with Smart matching that haul for the standup-centered comedy “Hacks.” Sudeikis gave a rare awards show shoutout to TV consumers.
“Thanks to the people who watch this show and dig it as much as we dig making it,” he said.
Ralph stopped the Emmy Awards show by accepting the best supporting actress comedy award for “Abbott Elementary” with a brief but rousing song of affirmation.
“I am an endangered species, but I sing no victim song. I am a woman, I am an artist and I know where my voice belongs,” she belted out. She then encouraged anyone doubting their dream “I am here to tell you this is what believing looks like.”
The audience, including Lizzo and many of television’s biggest stars, leapt to their feet to cheer on Ralph.
When Lizzo herself accepted the award for best-competition series trophy for “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” she offered another emotional pep talk.
“When I was a little girl, all I wanted to see was me in the media. Someone fat like me, Black like me, beautiful like me,” the music artist said.
Read more: 2022 Emmys: Here are all the winners
“Ted Lasso” co-star Brett Goldstein, won comedy supporting actors, while Matthew Macfadyen of “Succession” and Julia Garner of “Ozark” earned drama seires supporting actor honors.