Only two Latinas have been nominated at the Emmys in the lead actress comedy category in its 78-year history, and it’s no laughing matter. But, this year, we could see the third with Selena Gomez in the mystery-comedy “Only Murders in the Building” from Hulu.
Possibly following in the footsteps of Rita Moreno (who was nominated in 1983 for “9 to 5”) and America Ferrera (who won in 2007 for “Ugly Betty” and received another nom in 2008), Gomez’s role as Mabel Mora has been one of the bright spots of the show alongside comedic legends Steve Martin and Martin Short. Overall, the comedy categories are undoubtedly the most competitive this season, with even the lead actress category seemingly stacked. Nevertheless, Gomez will attempt to stay in the conversation alongside Jean Smart (“Hacks”), Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) and Issa Rae (“Insecure”), while Martin and Short are hoping not to split votes with one another.
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The vibrant comedy trio also serves as executive producers for the series (along with Dan Fogelman, Jess Rosenthal, Jamie Babbit and John Hoffman). If the three performers receive acting nominations, in addition to the show being recognized for outstanding comedy series, they’ll be double Emmy nominees for this year’s awards. For Gomez, she would be the first Latina nominated for both categories in the same year. In addition, she would be only the second Latina ever nominated for outstanding comedy series behind Salma Hayek for “Ugly Betty” in 2007. Only one woman has won as a producer for any of the top category series (Celia D. Costas for “Angels in America” in 2004).
Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu
Episode submissions will be essential for Gomez’s success, as with the Emmys, episodes are submitted for the top series categories. However, individual episode submissions for the actors won’t factor in until the nominations are announced on July 12. The second episode of the freshman series, titled “Who Is Tim Kono?” is where Gomez has many of her brightest moments. With her scenes talking to Tim’s ghost and recording her testimony on his life, there’s plenty for voters to admire. The next episode, “How Well Do You Know Your Neighbors?” might have the single funniest moment of the show with Martin’s characte,r Charles-Haden Savage, trying to figure out millennial phone etiquette before he texts, “Aloha, Mabel!”
Fresh off her first Grammy nomination for best Latin pop album (“Revelación”), a possible Emmy nom (or two) for Gomez would place her on a very concise list of women who have been nominated for both in the same year, including Lauren Bacall, Glenn Close and Meryl Streep.
The fight for Latino representation, both in front and behind the cameras, has been ongoing for decades in Hollywood. Yet, across all major acting categories at the Emmys, only five Latinos have ever won – Honduran America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”), Afro-Dominican Jharrel Jerome (“When They See Us”), Ecuadorian Albert Paulsen (“Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre”), Mexican Edward James Olmos (“Miami Vice”) and Puerto Rican Jimmy Smits (“L.A. Law”). Puerto Rican Rita Moreno (“The Rockford Files”) and Argentinian Alexis Bledel (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) both won for guest actress in a drama series.
The actress, singer and producer has been a staple in pop culture, with over 310 million followers on Instagram, the fifth-largest of any accounts (behind the company itself, Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, TV personality Kylie Jenner and Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi).
Created by Martin and Hoffman, “Only Murders in the Building” has had an impressive showing during the TV awards circuit since its premiere in August 2021. All three actors and the series were nominated at the Critics Choice Awards, while Martin and Short were both nominated individually at the SAG Awards as well as for ensemble in a comedy series. The show has also been nominated by the WGA and PGA.
The anticipated second season is scheduled to premiere on June 28, the day after the Emmy nomination voting period closes. However, with official reviews likely to drop in the voting window, it could bring even more attention to it from Television Academy voters.
“Only Murders in the Building” is currently streaming on Hulu.
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