Three Muslims Nominated for 75th Emmy Awards

Kumail Nanjiani, Mahershala Ali, and Mekki Leeper were the three Muslims who were nominated in the major categories for the Primetime Emmys, and none of them were women.

Three Muslims Nominated for 75th Emmy Awards

The nominations for the 75th Emmy Awards were announced on July 12. Emmy-nominated actress Yvette Nicole Brown and TV Academy chair Frank Scherma announced the nominees in a virtual ceremony, with hit series “Succession” (2018-2023), “The White Lotus” (2021-), “Ted Lasso” (2020-) and “The Last of Us” (2023-) landing the most nominations.

Among the major acting nominees is Kumail Nanjiani, who was nominated for his role as Somen “Steve” Banerjee in “Welcome to Chippendales” (2022), a series based on the true story of an Indian immigrant who founded the male stripping company of the same name. The series earned five nominations this year, with Nanjiani being nominated for Outstanding Leading Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie. 

Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali was also nominated for his narration on “Chimp Empire” (2023), a Netflix nature documentary series about the largest chimpanzee society ever discovered. Ali was the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar when he was awarded Best Supporting Actor for his role as Juan in “Moonlight” (2016). He later won an Oscar in the same category for his role as Don Shirley in “Green Book” (2018). He was also nominated for an Emmy for his role as Sheikh Ali Malik in “Ramy” (2019-) and won a Primetime Emmy for producing the HBO documentary film “We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest, a documentary about young people who participate in a public speaking contest honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. 

Mekki Leeper, writer for surprise nominee “Jury Duty” (2023-) and star on Max’s “The Sex Lives of College Girls” (2021-) as Eric, was also nominated for his work as a writer on the “Jury Duty” episode “Ineffective Assistance”. The show follows the inner workings of an American jury trial through one juror, who is unaware that the rest of his fellow jurors are actors. The series was nominated for four Emmys, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Supporting Actor for James Marsden, and Casting for Susie Farris. 

Only three Muslims were nominated in the major categories for the Primetime Emmys, and none of them were women. A report from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative stated that only 1% of speaking characters were Muslim, and the ratio of Muslim male characters to Muslim female characters was 174 to 1. 

The 75th annual Emmys are currently set to air live from the Peacock Theater (formerly the Microsoft Theater) on Monday, Sept. 18, from 5-8 p.m. PT/ 8-11 p.m. ET on Fox, with the Creative Arts ceremonies set for Sept. 9-10. However, with the actor’s guild (SAG-AFTRA) now joining the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, that date may change.