On Sunday night, the Tony Awards made history as all four musical acting category awards went to black actors: Leslie Odom, Jr. (lead actor), Daveed Diggs (featured actor) and Renée Elise Goldsberry (featured actress) from ‘Hamilton’; and Cynthia Erivo (lead actress) from ‘The Color Purple’.
The Tonys’ recognition of diverse talent is a far cry from the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
“Think of tonight’s show like the Oscars, but with diversity,” said James Corden, who was hosting the awards.
Hopefully, the achievement marks a sign of real change for Broadway and for awards shows generally as the Tonys celebrated their 70th anniversary this year as well.
“There is so much diversity on Broadway right now,” Tony Award winner Daveed Diggs told Variety magazine. “It’s nice to have it feeling a little more mainstream and a lot more inclusive.”
After the historic moment, the Tony Awards took to Twitter to celebrate, writing, “For the first time in #TonyAwards history, all four musical acting awards have gone to people of color.”
The award-winning musical ‘Hamilton’ also took home big honors, winning 11 awards total. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama introduced the ‘Hamilton’ performance with an on-camera message about the show’s significance to the country.
“It’s a musical about the miracle that is America,” said the First Lady. “A place of opportunity where no matter how humble our origins, we can make it if we try.”