The 70th Annual Emmy Awards were light on laughs and Black winners, but one of the night’s most entertaining moments came from event’s co-host Michael Che.
The Saturday Night Live star took matters of representation into his own hands by awarding several of our favorite actors who have been overlooked by the Academy with “Reparations Emmys” in a pre-taped skit.
The first honoree on the list was The Jeffersons‘ star, Marla Gibbs.
“Your role as Florence the maid is the reason I got fired from every service job I had,” said Michael Che.
“Well thank you – I think,” she responds in the video.
Other honorees for the award that highlighted actors whose roles made a significant contribution to the lives of Black folks were Jimmie Walker of Good Times, Kadeem Hardison of A Different World, Jaleel White of Family Matters and Martin star, Tichina Arnold.
When the actress tried to verify the origin of her trophy, Che delivered a funny line. “Let’s just say I stole it from Bill Cosby,” he joked.
Michael Che also chatted up Superior Donuts star Jermaine Fowler about how The Wire was snubbed by the academy for years while repeatedly honoring Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad.
“If he was black, he’d probably be bagging groceries at Trader Joe’s,” Fowler joked, alluding to Geoffrey Owens.
Other “Reparations Emmy” recipients included John Witherspoon who delivered some laughs of his own. “I can’t have this at my house,” he said. “Reparations is not for an Emmy, it’s for 40 acres and a mule.”
“Well I don’t have 40 acres and a mule,” Che replied. “Well get me 40 mules and an acre,” Witherspoon shot back. “I’ll take that.”