Emmys 2021: Women filmmakers Jessica Hobbs and Lucia Aniello create history by winning the best directors awards in drama and comedy
Lucio Aniello won for directing the pilot episode of Hacks, while Jessica Hobbs earned the title of Outstanding Director - Drama for helming the fourth season finale of The Crown
In what came as a pleasant change, female directors Jessica Hobbs and Lucia Aniello, among others, bagged the Primetime Emmy Awards for best comedy and drama series in the same year for the first time, as makers from The Crown and Hacks prevailed against tough competition.
Lucio Aniello won for directing the pilot episode of Hacks, the HBO Max comedy that also won lead comedy actress for star Jean Smart.
“It’s very surreal. It feels very much like a fever dream,” Aniello said after he bagged the award for Outstanding Writing - Comedy and Outstanding Director - Comedy.
Meanwhile, Jessica Hobbs earned the title of Outstanding Director - Drama for helming the fourth season finale of The Crown, particularly the episode War that portrayed the depth of the dysfunction of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s doomed marriage.
Hobbs’ win was part of an impressive near-sweep for The Crown. She said backstage that she tried not to think about how the retrospective would be received in 2021 but would rather focus on the feelings that the characters would have had at the moment.
“I wouldn’t say we think so much about how they’ll be perceived,” Hobbs said, but rather “the real circumstances for the person at that time.”
The last woman to win the Emmy for drama series direction was Reed Morano, for the pilot of The Handmaid’s Tale in 2017. Before that, it was a more than 20-year gap after Mimi Leder’s win in 1995 for ER.
On the lighter side, women are no strangers to winning Emmys for comedy direction.
In 2018, Amy Sherman-Palladino bagged the honour for Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. Gail Mancuso scored back-to-back wins in 2013 and 2014 for Modern Family.
Female filmmakers also took home awards for writing, including Michaela Coel scoring writing for a limited series of HBO’s I May Destroy You, while the trio who created Hacks — Aniello, Jen Statsky, and Paul W Downs — won for comedy series writing.
“I just wrote a little something, for writers, really. Write the tale that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that is uncomfortable. I dare you,” Coel said after accepting her trophy for I May Destroy You.
“In a world that entices us to browse through the lives of others to help us determine how we feel about ourselves, and see in turn still the need to be constantly visible, for visibility these days seems to show equate to success. Do not be afraid to disappear, from it, from us, for a while and see what comes to you in the silence,” she concluded.