Aziz Ansari made history today after earning an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his portrayal of Dev Shah on Master of None. He's the first South Asian actor ever nominated for a leading role on a television series.
The Netflix series, which he created, was lauded for its effortless diversity and for being progressive on numerous other fronts. It provided viewers a look into a desi household. It explored the immigrant narrative in a poignant episode, which earned nominations today for outstanding writing for a comedy series and outstanding directing for a comedy series. The show also broke down stereotypes about Asian men, presenting Dev as a romantic, sexually desirable lead.
Prior to this Emmy nomination, Ansari earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, also for his part on Master of None. In years past, a handful of South Asian actors have received Emmy nominations, but none have been for leading roles on a television series. In 2005, Naveen Andrews earned a nod for a supporting role on Lost, and Ben Kingsley was nominated on four separate occasions for his parts in Mrs. Harris, Anne Frank: The Whole Story, Joseph, Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story, all mini-series.