Backlight: Emmys and Fantastic Fest

This week we saw a range of diverse creators receive the recognition they deserve. We also saw further repercussions around Tim League quietly employing Devin Faraci; the whole ordeal has been revealing and frustrating, and serves as a reminder that this industry still has a long way to go before it’s fully inclusive and safe for women.

Marginalized Creators Win at This Years Emmy’s

Queer creators and people of color made waves at this year’s Emmy Awards. Lena Waithe made history on Sunday by becoming the first Black woman to win an Emmy for outstanding writing in a comedy series. Waithe won for the Master of None’s “Thanksgiving,” an episode based on her own experiences navigating coming out to her family. In her heartfelt Emmy’s speech, she thanked her girlfriend and her “LGBTQIA family,” reaffirming that she “sees each and every one of you.”  

Black Mirror’s episode “San Junipero” nabbed the award for Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series. “San Junipero” stars Mackenzie Davis and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and tells the story of two women who fall in love inside of a virtual reality space. In April, the episode also won a GLAAD award.

Other notable winners include Donald Glover, winning two awards as both Outstanding Director and Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Atlanta; Elisabeth Moss as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for The Handmaid’s Tale; Riz Ahmed for Outstanding Lead Actor for The Night Of; and Kate McKinnon for Saturday Night Live.

The one blight on the evening came in the form of Sean Spicer showing up on stage as a joke. Yeah. I’ll let Hellboy take it from here.

Faraci and Fantastic Fest

The fallout from Tim League and Alamo Drafthouse hiring Devin Faraci to ghost write for the Fantastic Fest program continues. (You can find our writeup of the initial events here.) Fox Searchlight announced they were pulling their Fantastic Fest showing of Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Three Billboards tells the story of a mother who seeks justice for her sexually assaulted and murdered daughter, after months go by without police action.

And pop culture website Ain’t It Cool News pulled out as a Fantastic Fest sponsor; Ain’t It Cool News’ founder — and Fantastic Fest co-founder — Harry Knowles told Indiewire that the move was partially motivated by similar accusations about his own actions.

Cool Projects by Cool People

Jordan Peele is developing a Nazi-hunter drama and we are incredibly excited about it. The Hunt will follow a diverse group of Nazi hunters in the 1970s who track and kill Nazis that the U.S. government itself helped to hide and embed in American society. Sources tell THR that the idea started getting shopped around in the wake of the Charlottesville protests.

Jessica Williams is set to star in her own Showtime comedy series. She’ll co-write the series with Jim Strouse, who she worked with on her Netflix show The Incredible Jessica James.

Jamie Lee Curtis is set to reprise her role as Laurie Strode in the Halloween reboot.

Hollywood’s obsession with adapting anime continues: Thor: Ragnarok’s director Taika Waititi is in talks to direct a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga Akira. This isn’t the first time an adaptation has been attempted; Warner Bros. got close a few years ago, with white actors Dane DeHaan and Michael Pitt in the running to play protagonist Tetsuo. Here’s hoping Waititi is more cognizant of and inclusive in his castings. 

Linda Hamilton, the actress who originally portrayed Sarah Connor, is set to return in the latest Terminator film. She won’t play the protagonist, director James Cameron said: “there will be mostly new characters, but we’ll have Arnold and Linda’s characters to anchor it.”

The CW plans to produce a dark reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, to serve as a companion piece to their gritty, horror-tinged Riverdale. The show plans on exploring “Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature — half-witch, half-mortal — while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabit.”

Insecure’s Jay Ellis joins the cast of The Maze, a psychological thriller set in South Africa. Ellis is set to star alongside Daredevil‘s Deborah Ann Woll.

Gretchen Smail

Gretchen Smail

Part time Bay Area journalist, full time loungewear enthusiast