Do the 2015 Emmy Nominations Fail the Industry's Most Talented Women?

A critical reading of today's list.

We'd be lying if we said there wasn't a chance that this year's Emmy nominations, announced this morning, weren't at risk for going seriously wrong. But the Emmys took a cue from last year's race- and gender-fueled Oscars controversy and honored a relatively diverse group of actors and shows. 

The nominations were a pretty even mix of safe bets (Modern Family) and groundbreaking television (hi, Transparent!). Our biggest issue? The fact that—yet again—so many talented women didn't come close to getting the recognition they deserve.

Despite a few unforgivable snubs (we'll get to that in a minute), the Emmy Awards *are* clearly trying to up their game—the biggest win by far is Taraji P. Henson's nomination for her killer portrayal as Cookie Lyon in Empire. (Though, the internet would have probably broken if she hadn't been nominated, and not in a sexy Kim Kardashian way.) And with shoutouts to TransparentUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Parks and Recreation, the Outstanding Comedy Series category is a true indication of how much the Emmys are trying to diversify.

Lena Dunham is visibly absent, which seems a glaring oversight considering her perpetual timeliness and talent. Her voice and interests have grown to reflect—as her character so notoriously forecasted—the pulse of an entire generation, making her omission a curious one.

And then there's the Lead Actress in Comedy category, which was another major fail. Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez—a burgeoning critical darling—was bypassed in favor of usual suspects Edie Falco, Lisa Kudrow, and Julia Louis Dreyfus; and while it was exciting to see Amy Schumer get some recognition, Rodriguez absolutely deserved to be on that extremely homogenous list. And honestly, so did Mindy Kaling—another talented woman of color who's once again been passed over for her outstanding work on the Mindy Project, a show that's consistently more satisfyingly subversive and boundary-pushing than Modern Family

The Lead Actress in a Drama nominations make up—somewhat—for how bland the comedy roundup is (Viola Davis and Tatiana Maslany are welcome newcomers), but what about Outlander's Caitriona Balfe? She delivers one of the most powerful feminist performances on TV, and approaches it with a subtlety and precision that's worthy of an award itself—let alone a nomination. (And, FYI, Starz isn't on the Emmys' unofficial blacklist like The CW is rumored to be, so there's really no reason for the snub.)

This year's Emmy noms do take a step forward, but is it so much to ask for a leap?

Check out the full list of nominees here:

Comedy Series


Modern Family

Parks & Recreation

Silicon Valley


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Drama Series 

Better Call Saul

Downton Abbey

Game of Thrones


House of Cards

Mad Men

Orange Is The New Black

Limited Series

American Crime

American Horror Story: Freak Show

Olive Kitteridge

The Honorable Woman

Wolf Hall

Outstanding Television Movie

Agatha Christie's Poirot: Poirot's Last Case


Grace of Monaco

Hello Ladies: The Movie

Killing Jesus


Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson

Louis C.K.

Don Cheadle

Will Forte

Matt LeBlanc

William H. Macy

Jeffrey Tambor

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series 

Edie Falco

Lisa Kudrow

Julia Louis Dreyfuss

Amy Poehler

Amy Schumer

Lily Tomlin

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Kyle Chandler

Jeff Daniels

Jon Hamm

Bob Odenkirk

Liev Schreiber

Kevin Spacey

Lead Actress in a Drama Series 

Claire Danes

Viola Davis

Taraji P. Henson

Tatania Maslany

Elisabeth Moss

Robin Wright

Outstanding Variety Series

The Colbert Report

The Daily Show

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Last Week Tonight

Late Show With David Letterman

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Outstanding Reality Competition Program

The Amazing Race

Dancing With the Stars

Project Runway

So You Think You Can Dance

Top Chef

The Voice

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

Drunk History

Inside Amy Schumer

Key & Peele


Saturday Night Live

Mehera Bonner
Entertainment Editor

Mehera Bonner is a celebrity and entertainment news writer who enjoys Bravo and Antiques Roadshow with equal enthusiasm. She was previously entertainment editor at Marie Claire and has covered pop culture for over a decade.