What 'Master of None's' Emmy wins and losses say about the future of TV.

Alan Yang and Aziz Ansari gave a funny, important speech at the Emmys on Sept. 18, 2016.

The duo accepted the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for their show, "Master of None" on Netflix — a big win for diverse television and the people behind the scenes who make it.

"There's 17 million Asian-Americans in this country, and there's 17 million Italian-Americans. They have 'The Godfather,' 'Goodfellas,' 'Rocky,' 'The Sopranos.' We got Long Duk Dong," Yang said, referencing the stereotypical character from "Sixteen Candles."


"We have a long way to go. But I know we can get there."

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

It was one of those speeches that should have gone about five minutes longer — not just because it was fantastic, but because Ansari totally got cut off by the music before he could give what was probably going to be an epic speech himself.

Watching Ansari get rushed off stage wasn't the only downer for his fans, though; soon after, we watched as he lost what would have been an enormous win in a different category.

Ansari was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. He would have been the first South Asian actor to ever win in a leading category.

But he lost. And that, of course, means there's still never been a South Asian actor to win a leading category. Ever!

Although Ansari's co-writing win was great, his acting nod loss (as well as his show's loss in Outstanding Comedy Series) touches on the state of diversity on television Yang alluded to earlier. Because while the Emmys may be more diverse than the Oscars, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Peabody.

Throughout the 68 Emmy award shows, no East Asian actor has ever won, either. (None!) 30 years have gone by since the last black woman was nominated for Lead Actress in a Comedy (shout-out to Tracee Ellis Ross for breaking the streak this year). And the acting slots for drama? They’ve been particularly behind on the diversity front — this year, just three of the 24 acting slots in those categories went to people of color. (These stats are all on top of the fact Ansari's loss was to quite the problematic category favorite.)

That's not OK to the "Master of None" star.

Ansari has a history of speaking out on the importance of diversity in Hollywood. And he walks the walk, too.

As a co-creator of "Master of None," he's helped develop one of the most diverse casts on TV right now. He gets why representation in our media matters.

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

"I want to thank Netflix and Universal for believing in us and letting us tell our stories," he said back in May at the Peabody Awards. "I think they really seem to get what diversity really is. It's not, 'Hey, let's give this white protagonist a brown friend!' No. It's, 'Let's have a show where there's a token white guy.' And that's what [our show] is."

Things are looking up though. Despite Ansari’s loss tonight, diversity at the Emmys have gotten a lot better recently.

"I believe in us," Yang said in his Emmys speech. "It's just gonna take a lot of hard work."

That hard work is already paying off.

This year, 25% of the acting nominees were people of color — since the first Emmys, just 9% of the nominees in total have been actors of color — so 2016 was certainly a step up.

Even better, it’s probably not a one-off. The past few years have boasted relatively inclusive nomination slots, which means there’s every reason to be hopeful diversity at the Emmys isn’t just a fad.

Check out Upworthy’s timeline of trailblazers who’ve helped make the 2016 Emmys one of the most diverse ever.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

This article originally appeared on 10.23.15


Getting people who don't suffer from anxiety issues to understand them is hard.

People have tried countless metaphors and methods to describe what panic and anxiety is like. But putting it into the context of a living nightmare, haunted house style, is one of the more effective ways I've ever seen it done.

Brenna Twohy delivered the riveting poetic analogy recently in Oakland, starting out by going off about some funny "Goosebumps" plots. It's lovely, funny, sweet, and relatable, and it's totally worth the short time to watch.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."