‘Watchmen’ Earned A Nerdy Awards Distinction While Scooping Up A Total Of 11 Emmy Wins

In 2019, Black Panther became the first comic-book movie to win an Oscar, and at this year’s Emmys, HBO’s Watchmen became the first comic-book TV show to win an Emmy in a major category. Comic book fans are starved for theater content this year, so this is a nice consolation prize and further confirmation that Alan Moore’s “unfilmable” graphic novel is getting it done. Thanks to Damon Lindelof’s ambitious and sweeping limited series and radical recontextualization of the source material, Watchmen pulled off an almost-sweep in the Limited Awards categories on TV’s biggest (virtual) night. This brought the show’s total Emmys take to 11 awards — the previously announced honors included Best Music Composition for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi costumes for Sharen Davis and Valerie Zielonka.

On Sunday night, the show’s largest awards went down, which included Best Limited Series, Best Writing In A Limited Series or Movie (Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson), Best Lead Actress In A Limited Series (Regina King), and Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). Regina King used her speech to urge people to vote, while Mateen and Lindelof both paid tribute to the victims of the 1921 Race Massacre, with the latter stating, “The fires that destroyed Black Wall Street still burn today… The only way to put them out is if we all fight them together.”

Abdul-Mateen, who portrayed Cal Abar/Doctor Manhattan, joined Lindelof’s sentiment while also dedicating his award to Black women:

Watchmen was a story about trauma. It was a story about the lasting scars of white domestic violence and white domestic terrorism. It was a story about police corruption and brutality. But in the midst of all of that, it was also a story of a god who came down to Earth to reciprocate to a Black woman all the love that she deserved, for her sacrifices, passion and protection. And he did all of that in the body of a Black man, and I’m so proud that I was able to walk into those shoes. I dedicate this award to all of the Black women in my life.”

Weird factoid: Billy Crudup, who portrayed Doctor Manhattan in Zack Snyder’s far-too-literal 2009 Watchmen adaptation, also won an Emmy (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series) for his work on The Morning Show. And Zack Snyder’s doing just fine, working on his Snyder Cut of Justice League for HBO Max.