The two most awarded Black individuals in Primetime Emmy history could win more this year

    No Black artists have won more Primetime Emmys than multi-camera cinematographer Donald A. Morgan and reality star RuPaul Charles. As it happens they both have multiple nominations this year. Will they add to their historic awards hauls?

    Morgan currently holds the record as the most awarded Black individual at the Emmys with 10 trophies on his mantel, and a whopping seven of those came for his lighting direction for “Home Improvement” (1992-1996, 1998-1999). Recently he won three more times for his multi-camera cinematography on Netflix’s “The Ranch” (2017, 2019-2020) and is the defending champion in his category.

    And the odds seem pretty good that he’ll win again since he has three out of the five nominations for Best Multi-Camera Cinematography this year. “The Ranch” ended its run last season, so that’s out, but instead he contends for “The Conners” (episode “A Heart Break and a Grave Mistake”), “Last Man Standing” (episode “Time Flies”), and “The Upshaws” (episode “Big Plans”). He’s up against Patti Lee for “Call Me Kat” (episode “Plus One”) and George Mooradian for “Country Comfort” (episode “Crazy”).

    Barring a tie with himself, the best Morgan can do is notch his 11th Emmy. RuPaul, however, could win up to three, which would also bring his total to 11 from the eight he currently has. But while Morgan has accumulated his Emmys over decades, RuPaul has racked his up in just the last five years. He has claimed Best Reality Host for “RuPaul’s Drag Race” five times in a row (2016-2020) and Best Competition Program as an executive producer of “Drag Race” for the last three years (2018-2020).

    This year RuPaul is predicted to continue his winning streak in both of those categories, but that’s not all. He’s also the favorite to win Best Unstructured Reality Program as producer of “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked.” That spinoff series has been nominated four times before without winning, so what’s different this time? Well, neither of the shows that beat “Untucked” in the past are in the category this time. “United Shades of America,” which won from 2017 to 2019, is now in the Best Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special contest, while 2020 champ “Cheer” hasn’t aired another season. That opens the door for RuPaul to sashay away with yet another trophy.

    So if both RuPaul and Morgan maximize their winning potential in 2021, they’ll leave the awards tied for the most awards for any Black individual in the television academy’s history. Do you think they’ll set that new record together?

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