We applauded a ton of major winners at last night’s Emmys. From the Big Little Lies ladies to awards show mainstay Julia Louis-Dreyfus, we noticed a pattern among the celebs collecting statuettes—that is, a discernible number of them were women. Sure, it wasn’t too surprising to see the Veep star garner another win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, but Julia also made history as the first person to win six times for the same character. And how about Lena Waithe of Master of None, who became the first African-American woman awarded for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series? Let’s not forget Reed Morano, the first woman in 22 years to be lauded for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series. All are trailblazers who are changing Hollywood’s stereotypical roles for women both on-screen and behind the scenes.
However, it’s not just the actresses, writers and directors, but also the female-fronted and -created shows themselves that captured attention. While Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale explored the frightening consequences of a patriarchal regime, HBO’s Big Little Lies brought domestic violence to the forefront. Both series present characters who are as real as the individuals who play them (Nicole Kidman admitted to feeling “completely humiliated and devastated” after shooting one of the drama’s abuse scenes) and both portray women as multi-dimensional characters. We hope these wins are the industry’s way of saying it’s ready to take female-oriented projects mainstream. As Reese Witherspoon declared in her speech, it’s time to “bring women to the front of their own stories and make them the hero of their own stories”—and that’s a new Hollywood standard we can get behind.