"Milestone Moment": GLAAD Praises LGBTQ-Inclusive Emmy Nominations

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From left: Ricky Martin, RuPaul, Samira Wiley, Lily Tomlin

From the return of 'Queer Eye' to continued success of 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' the watchdog group sees noms for stars including Jane Lynch, Ricky Martin and other behind-the-scenes folks as a message of acceptance.

LGBTQ watchdog group GLAAD considers Thursday's Emmy nominations — which recognized the work for shows including Queer Eye and stars like Lily Tomlin and Ricky Martin — a "milestone moment" for stories reflecting the community.

"Today's list of Emmy nominees is a milestone moment for LGBTQ inclusion on television," said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. "With a surge of out actors and creators nominated alongside LGBTQ-inclusive scripted programming and LGBTQ-focused shows like Queer Eye and RuPaul's Drag Race, the Television Academy is finally reflecting how audiences and critics embrace diverse LGBTQ images on television. Emmy voters today sent a clear message of inclusion and acceptance which should be a signal for Hollywood to continue to tell powerful and impactful LGBTQ stories."

The nominations were announced by Ryan Eggold and out actress (and nominee) Samira Wiley.

A long list of openly LGBTQ stars were among the nominees for the 70th annual Emmys:

• Lily Tomlin (lead actress in a comedy series for Grace and Frankie)
• Evan Rachel Wood (lead actress in a drama series for Westworld)
• Tituss Burgess (supporting actor in a comedy series for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
• Ricky Martin (supporting actor in a limited series for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
• Kate McKinnon (supporting actress in a comedy series for Saturday Night Live)
• Wanda Sykes (guest actress in a comedy series for Black-ish)
• Jane Lynch (a double nominee for guest actress in a comedy series for Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and reality show host for Hollywood Game Night)
• Samira Wiley (guest actress in a drama series for The Handmaid's Tale)
• Cherry Jones (guest actress in a drama series for The Handmaid's Tale)
• Sarah Paulson (lead actress in a limited series for American Horror Story: Cult)

They were joined by a number of out producers and directors, including:

• Ryan Murphy (directing for a limited series and nonfiction shortform for Versace)
• Carrie Brownstein (directing for a variety series for Portlandia)

A number of series with LGBTQ themes and storylines were also recognized, including RuPaul's Drag Race (10 nominations), Queer Eye (four), Handmaid's Tale (20), Steven Universe (one), Godless (12) and Kimmy Schmidt (two).

What's also impressive is that four of the five nominees for reality show host are LGBTQ: Ellen DeGeneres, Tim Gunn, Lynch and RuPaul. (Only W. Kamau Bell, for CNN's United Shades of America, is the exception.)

Transgender Oscar nominee Hyance Ford also earned a nomination for merit in documentary filmmaking for Netflix's Strong Island.

The LGBTQ nominations arrive at a time when the industry is making a concerted push to tell more inclusive stories that better reflect society.