5 Emmy nominees using their fame to bring attention to issues that matter.
These stars shine on and off screen.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences just announced its nominees for the 2015 Emmy Awards.
Since the show won't air until September, we can spend the next few months speculating about who will take home the hardware.
We can also spend that time celebrating the nominees who do remarkable things both on and off screen, like the five famous faces below.
1. Tituss Burgess
Nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
To put it simply, Tituss Burgess is a star. He's an accomplished Broadway performer, a talented singer, and now an Emmy nominee for his role in Netflix's "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."
But when he's not dazzling on the screen or stage (or singing songs that won't get out of my head), he performs at benefits for foster kids and equality events like New York Pride. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Burgess discussed why LGBT equality is so important to him:
"We're living in a time when people are no longer hiding their dislike for one another; in some cases, they're proud of their hatred. ... My young sisters and brothers in the LGBT community…they need assistance."
2. Queen Latifah
Nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie
As the first lady of hip-hop, Queen Latifah has always been open and honest. As an actress, she's pursued challenging (and at times controversial) roles in films like "Set It Off" and "Bessie."
But she's also not one to shy away from the issues, like Hollywood's focus on body image and marriage equality.
Queen Latifah grew up outside Baltimore, and during an interview with Vanity Fair, she provided a dose of wisdom about race relations and the unrest in her hometown:
"This has to be something we all do, we all care about. One kid dying should hurt all of us, you know, not just hurt one community."
3. Lily Tomlin
Nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
She has over 45 years in the business, but Lily Tomlin shows no signs of slowing down. The critically acclaimed comedienne earned her nomination this year for her starring role in Netflix's "Grace and Frankie."
But outside work, she's as outspoken and honest as ever, speaking frankly about additional funding and attention for women-led projects. She spoke with IndieWire about having the gumption to forge her own path.
"I've lived a long time, and I've always had to make my own way. I remember when I was 18, Ray Valente, who was head of casting at Screen Gems, said, 'Lily, some day there will be parts for gals like you,' and I said I couldn't wait that long, so I started making my own parts."
4. Jill Soloway
Nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Short-Format Nonfiction Program
Jill Soloway is the creator and producer of "Transparent," a dry comedy about a family handling the patriarch's gender transition. The show earned Soloway critical acclaim but also props for her diverse staff behind the camera, particularly in the writers room.
"Hire trans people in as many positions as possible and listen, listen, listen. Read as many books as you can, put yourself in the immersive position of wishing to be schooled and educated rather than defending what you're used to."
5. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele
Nominated for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series, Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special, Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program, and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Keegan-Michael Key)
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele earned four nominations between them for their groundbreaking sketch show "Key & Peele." The bold and surprising "Key & Peele" satirizes controversial issues like marriage equality, race relations, and rape culture in humorous and unexpected ways. Their unique and fresh perspectives make these sensitive topics a little easier to bring up and chew over with others.
Beyond the small screen, these celebrities are all making the world an easier place to live for people of all stripes.
They're using their fame to raise awareness, champion causes, and start important conversations.
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