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Tracee Ellis Ross didn't win an Emmy. But she won our hearts and made history anyway.

The underrepresentation of minorities on television is still a big problem, but there's hope.

Tracee Ellis Ross was nominated for a 2016 Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP.

Ross was nominated for her role as Rainbow Johnson in "Black-ish," an ABC sitcom about a self-aware and non-stereotypical black family. Ross' character — the matriarch of the family — is half white.


This nomination for Ross marks her first Emmy nod. But most importantly, this is the first time a black actress has been nominated in this category in 30 years. The last black actress to be recognized and nominated for her work in a comedy series was Phylicia Rashad in 1986 for playing Clair Huxtable on "The Cosby Show." But she didn't win; Betty White took home the prize that year.

2016 seemed poised to be Ross' year.

Which is why it was a surprise when Ross lost to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who accepted her fifth consecutive Emmy in that category for her role on "Veep."

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

It's not that Dreyfus doesn't deserve it — "Veep" is an incredible piece of media. But why not spread the love? It would've been an amazing moment of recognition for black actresses all over America.

And it also would have helped us talk about the larger problem at hand: a lack of diversity in Hollywood.

The underrepresentation of minorities on television is still a big problem.

A UCLA study on diversity in Hollywood found that out of 825 roles in broadcast scripted programming, only 9% of them went to black actors during the 2013-14 season. All minorities combined accounted for only 20% of those 825 roles.

Ross' nomination was not only symbolic, it was also necessary.

In the late 1980s, the Huxtables on "The Cosby Show" were seen as a "new" type of black family (especially following portrayals on shows like "Good Times" or "Sanford and Son"). The Huxtables were an upper-middle-class family, which is something that was rarely shown on television at the time. The dad (played by Bill Cosby) was a doctor, and the mom was a lawyer.

But that was 30 years ago, and things have changed quite a bit since then. Now "Black-ish" seems to be carrying on the "Cosby Show" torch but in a more realistic, relatable, and modern way. During this season alone, the show has tackled police brutality and a number of other serious issues. They use comedy to start important conversations in people's living rooms, and that's incredibly important.

The cast of "Black-ish." Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images.

Progress is happening: This year's Emmy nominees are the most racially diverse ever.

It means the landscape for non-white actors is widening, and more people are being given opportunities to show what they can do, like Ross. Plus, Ross' family was so proud, her mom, Diana Ross, even took out a full-page ad in The Hollywood Reporter congratulating the star.

"Women playing a nuanced role in life has been happening for eons, but on TV it’s been few and far between," Ross has said about her role on "Black-ish."

"In 2016, we’re still trying to get the wife role to match who we are in life, which is people who are many things, not just wives."

So while I wish Ross had taken home the Emmy this year, I can't wait to see what else she has in store. Congrats, Tracee!

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Before going into his reasons for why he tells people not to get married, Gaddis explained that he is a person that "LOVEs being married." I mean, it would probably make him a pretty weird relationship expert if he hated relationships, so it's probably a good thing he enjoys being married. Surely his spouse appreciates his stance as well.

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It has everything—the beauty of a ballad, the grunginess of a rock song, the simple solo voice, and the band in full force. "Stairway to Heaven" takes us on a musical journey, and even people who aren't necessarily giant Led Zeppelin or classic rock fans can't help but nod or sing along to it.

Of course, it's also been so ubiquitous (or overplayed, as some would claim) to become a meme among musicians. Signs saying "No Stairway to Heaven" in guitar stores point to how sick of the song many guitarists get, and when Oregon radio station KBOO told listeners they would never play the song again if someone pledged $10,000, Led Zepelin singer Robert Plant himself called in and gave the donation.

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