Emmys: Riz Ahmed Wins Best Actor in a Limited Series or a Television Movie

The actor won for his performance in HBO's 'The Night Of.'

Riz Ahmed won the Emmy for best actor in a limited series or a television movie on Sunday night for his performance in The Night Of

The actor beat out Benedict Cumberbatch from Sherlock: The Lying Detective, Robert De Niro from The Wizard of Lies, Ewan McGregor from Fargo, Geoffrey Rush from Genius and John Turturro from The Night Of.  

The first-time winner thanked his fellow category nominees and Turturro in his acceptance speech, telling his co-star: "It's been amazing getting to watch you up close, and I share this with you, brother."

Ahmed also gave the late James Gandolfini a shout-out onstage, adding that he hopes the series sheds light on the "injustice in our justice system."

Backstage, the actor touched on the need for more diverse roles and praised Ed Skrein for how he handled the recent Hellboy casting controversy.

"I think what we're starting to see is more awareness around how beneficial it can be to tell a diverse range of stories and to tell them in a way that's authentic," Ahmed told reporters. "Something that happened recently that I found really, really moving and I really applaud is the British actor Ed Skrein recently kind of turned down a role — it was lucrative role."

He added, "I know him personally, he's a great guy and he just felt that he wanted to respect the cultural authenticity of that particular story and that character in Hellboy. So I think when you see examples of that, what we're seeing is more awareness around this conversation and I think awareness if the first step to real change.”

Ahmed also pushed for "globalization" of stories and talent, saying, "TV is in particular a global medium. People are streaming shows or watching them all around the world, so hopefully we’re going to see a globalization of the stories we're telling and a globalization of the talent pool."

The Primetime Emmy Awards are being handed out at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Stephen Colbert is hosting the ceremony, airing live on CBS.

For a complete list of winners, click here. For a complete list of winners at last week's Creative Arts Emmy Awards, click here. And for all the latest Emmy news, click here.

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