History was created at the 68th Primetime Annual Emmy Awards 2016 Sept. 18 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles when Indian American actor-writer-director Aziz Ansari picked up a trophy for ‘Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series’ for “Master of None,” with the show’s co-creator Alan Yang.
Ansari and Yang wrote the winning episode, “Parents,” which focused on the relationship between immigrant parents and their children.
The win wasn’t an easy one. “Master of None” beat off stiff competition from shows such as Amazon’s “Catastrophe,” “Episode 1,” written by Rob Delaney and Sharon Horga; HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” “Founder Friendly,” written by Dan O’Keefe; HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” “The Uptick,” written by Alec Berg; HBO’s “Veep,” “Morning After,” written by David Mandel; and HBO’s “Veep,” “Mother,” written by Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck.
The two accepted the award together, however, only Yang gave an acceptance speech. Yang spoke about how to increase diversity – the appeal pretty much ran throughout the glitzy ceremony – on screen.
“We got a long way to go, but I know we can get there,” Yang said. “If you could just do me a favor, just a couple of you: get your kids cameras instead of violins. We’ll be all good.”
When Ansari stepped up to the mic after his first Emmy win, the cut-off music started playing, leaving everyone, including Ansari, surprised. But he did manage to squeeze in a few words. He said, “You guys are in trouble!” before dashing off the stage.
He was finally given a chance to speak his mind once he was back on stage to present the award for ‘Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special.’
Before taking a moment to offer his gratitude to his parents, Shoukath Ansari and Fatima Ansari, who he said inspired the episode, Ansari addressed that awkward moment earlier with a remark. “That was a little weird, earlier. I just wanted to thank my parents who are here. They inspired that episode, and they acted in the show too. My dad is very upset about his snub but he’ll be okay,” he commented.
Ansari also used his victory to take a dig at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his divisive politics. “But look, it’s an election year, and I want everyone to know that after careful consideration, I have decided to go with Trump,” he quipped with a deadpan expression on his face. “And that is why I am recommending we get rid of all Muslims and Hispanics from this ceremony immediately.”
What came next clearly defines the brand that is Aziz Ansari.
He went on to point out some people he wanted to be kicked out of the ceremony, including his parents, actor Jeffrey Tambor, who plays a transgender woman on Amazon’s “Transparent,” and Latina actress America Ferrera.
“Mom and dad, I know I just thanked you, but you need to be escorted out. I’m so sorry,” he said amidst peals of laughter. “America Ferrera, nice try changing your name to America. You’re not fooling anybody. You’re out. And you know, let’s get (Jeffrey) Tambor out of here and open up that ‘Best Comedy Actor’ category.”