The 2018 Emmys have been pretty white. In fact, James Corden made a joke about starting the hashtag #EmmysSoWhite … right before Regina Hall for American Crime. Still, she was the first performer of color to win tonight, making one of the pre-filmed bits — co-host Michael Che’s skit about giving “Reparation Emmys” to black TV stars who were snubbed over the decades — even more biting than it would have been if Donald Glover won, too.
In the skit, one half of the show’s hosts went around to TV’s un-heralded heroes. He went to Marla Gibbs, aka maid Florence Johnston on The Jeffersons. He visited Jimmy Walker, the break-out show-stealer of Good Times. Kadeem Hardison, formerly Dwayne Wayne on A Different World, finally got what he deserved. John Witherspoon, of The Wayans Bros., got his, too.
Maybe the most deserved “Reparation” win went to Jaleel White, the ever-game ex-Steve Urkel, who has never quite lived down his Family Matters character (though Clint Eastwood did give him a random role in his last movie, The 15:17 to Paris). Urkel has often been criticized by pop culture critics, but Che honored him as a trail-blazer. He even said that without him there’d be no Obama. To which Jaleel White replied, in his completely normal, non-Urkel voice, “Did I do that?”