DUBAI: Egyptian-American actor Ramy Youssef has been nominated for the 72nd Emmy Awards for his role in the Hulu TV series “Ramy,” the academy announced on Tuesday.
The comedian, who is the co-creator of the show, will compete in the Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series categories, making his show the first Muslim-American sitcom to score an Emmy nomination.
In “Ramy,” Youssef portrayed a first-generation Arab-Muslim-American who deals with the many stereotypes he has to face in America.
Season one was a major success, netting Youssef a Golden Globe for Best Actor and a global following. For the newly released second season, Youssef dug deeper into his Muslim faith, introducing a charismatic new Imam named Sheik Ali, played by Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali, with whom Ramy quickly bonds.
Ali is also being nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
Shortly after the announcement was made, Youssef, who lives in New Jersey, took to Instagram to share the news and to express his gratitude. “Alhamdulillah (Thank God),” wrote the 29-year-old star in Arabic.
Other nominations included HBO series “Watchmen” that received a leading 26 nominations.
The show, which captured America’s deep unease as it faces racial and political discord amid a pandemic, was nominated as best limited series and received bids for cast members including Regina King and Jeremy Irons.
King was part of a vanguard of actors of color indicating that TV academy voters took heed of the social climate.
“Zendaya!” exclaimed Emmy announcement host Leslie Jones, her gleeful reaction to the “Euphoria” star’s nomination as best actress in a drama. “This is a great day,” Jones said.
She was part of a socially distanced, virtual release of nominees that was online, not on television as is usual. But nothing is usual during a coronavirus era that has brought Hollywood production to a virtual standstill and is making the Emmys and other awards grasp for alternatives.
The Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be presented Sept. 20 on ABC.