This year's Tony Awards were notable for a number of reasons. But, in the year of #OscarsSoWhite, the Tonys responded by honoring four actors of color with major performance awards. It's the first time this has happened in the 70-year history of the Tonys.
Hamilton stars Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, and Renée Elise Goldsberry took home the honors in their categories: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, and Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, respectively. But Hamilton-mania is only partially responsible for this historic achievement. The Color Purple's Cynthia Erivo won Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical.
"There's so much diversity on Broadway right now," said Diggs in the Tonys press room. "I'm very proud to be a part of it."
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the genius behind Hamilton, has been open about his desire to create a largely nonwhite cast for his show. The New York Times has even reported criticism in response to Miranda's position. But if this year's Tony Awards are any indication, Miranda is clearly on to something.
This year's Tonys brought in the highest ratings in 15 years, Entertainment Weekly reports. Let's hope these diversity achievements on Broadway spark a trend in the entertainment industry as a whole. As James Corden said in his opening monologue, "Think of tonight as the Oscars, but with diversity." So yeah, Academy Awards, we're talking to you.
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