Less experience should not make or break a chance to win an Emmy

October 20, 2020 — by Angelina Chen
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Zendaya, breathless, holds up her 2020 Emmy award for best lead actress in a room surrounded by her family and team.

Following the 2020 Emmy Awards, actress Zendaya faces backlash for winning best lead actress over more experienced nominees.

“Whoa, this is pretty crazy — I don’t wanna cry,” actress Zendaya exclaimed while accepting her Emmy award in a room with her family and production team on Sept. 20. 

Zendaya had just won the Emmy Award for Best Lead Actress for her role as Rue in “Euphoria,” which follows a group of high schoolers through their experiences with drugs, sex, their identities and friendships. At 24, Zendaya made history as the youngest woman to win best lead actress in a drama. Her win was largely due to her ability to cut to the harsh reality of the character’s high school life, portraying Rue as a struggling drug addict with a complex range of emotions instead of a cliche moody teenager. 

While her win will inspire many young actors and actresses of color to pursue their dreams, some believe that more experienced actresses such as Jennifer Aniston, nominated for her role in “The Morning Show,” or Sandra Oh, nominated for “Killing Eve,” deserved it instead. Both actresses have more than 25 years of acting experience, which is longer than Zendaya has even been alive. 

But as the youngest woman to win the award and the second black woman to ever win in that category, Zendaya’s controversial win is only an inspiration to new actors and actresses hoping to make it big in Hollywood. Her achievements and effort weigh more than years of experience.

Zendaya has demonstrated her eagerness to improve on her acting as she refused to settle on her early fame from playing roles such as Rocky Blue in the 2010 Disney sitcom “Shake It Up.” Instead, she worked toward playing more advanced and prominent roles such as Rue in “Euphoria,” Anne Wheeler in “The Greatest Showman” and Michelle “MJ” Jones in the “Spider-Man: Homecoming” series, all shows that received critical praise. On top of acting as Anne in “The Greatest Showman,” because of her role as a trapeze artist, Zendaya trained in acrobatics to perfect her stunts, many of them in the middle of the air. 

Zendaya has also worked to release her own debut album in 2013, “Zendaya,” book, “Between U and Me,” and a clothing line with Tommy Hilfiger in 2019.

Although Zendaya is young, she has more than proved herself as a talented and hardworking actress well deserving of the win. 

 

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