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Samuel LeGrys

Brian Skerry, center, accepts the Emmy for outstanding documentary or nonfiction series for Secrets of the Whales during the second ceremony of the Television Academy's 2021 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the L.A. LIVE Event Deck on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Los Angeles.

Phil McCarten/Invision/AP Images
September 12, 2021
Awards News

RuPaul and Robots Set the Pace at First of Two Sunday Creative Arts Ceremonies

Netflix leads all winners with 13, fueled by five for animated series Love, Death + Robots. VH1 follows with five — four for RuPaul’s Drag Race, one for RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked. RuPaul Charles is named Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program for sixth consecutive year.

Juan Morales

Netflix led all winners at the second 2021 Creative Arts Emmys with 13 awards, five of them for the animation anthology Love, Death + Robots. It was the streamer’s second Creative Arts ceremony in a row in the top spot, having led winners at the Saturday show with 12 wins.


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Repeating as winner was something of a theme at the first of two Sunday shows. The trend was established with the first category, Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance. As she did last year, Maya Rudolph won for the role of Connie the Hormone Monstress in Big Mouth, the animated comedy from, yes, Netflix.

Love, Death + Robots brought Netflix another batch of back-to-back honors with four juried awards for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation, albeit not for the same artists. Love, Death + Robots also won the Emmy for Outstanding Short Form Animated Program.

For the fourth year running, another Netflix series, Queer Eye, took the Emmy for Structured Reality Program, tying it with ABC’s Shark Tank for the record in the category.

Another four-in-a-row winner was National Geographic’s Life Below Zero, for Outstanding Cinematography for a Reality Program.

Consecutive wins were most prevalent in the world of RuPaul Charles, host of RuPaul's Drag Race, who won the Emmy for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program for the sixth year in a row.

In addition to RuPaul’s individual achievement, RuPaul’s Drag Race marked back-to-back years as winner for Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program and Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured Reality or Competition Program. Although not a repeat win, another RuPaul project, RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked, won the final award of the afternoon (and its first ever), for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program.

Other multiple wins for Netflix included three for David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera), Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Score), Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program) and two for The Social Dilemma (Writing for a Nonfiction Program, Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program).

Other platforms with multiple winners at the first Sunday Creative Arts ceremony were Adult Swim and CNN with two each.

For Adult Swim, Genndy Tartakofsky’s Primal won for Outstanding Animated Program and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation. CNN took one for Outstanding Narrator (Sterling K. Brown for Abraham Lincoln: Divided We Stand) and one for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special (Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy).

Other Emmys included:

• Outstanding Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program — Dick Johnson Is Dead (Netflix)

• Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special — Boys State (Apple TV+)

• Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking — 76 Days (Pluto TV)

• Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series — Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man (YouTube)

• Outstanding Sound Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera) — The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? (HBO)

The Creative Arts Emmys focus primarily on technical and crafts categories, including casting, cinematography, picture editing, sound, production design, costumes, hairstyling, makeup and more.

On Saturday, the emphasis was on scripted programming. The first ceremony on Sunday focused on unscripted and documentary programming. The second Sunday show will return to scripted programming and will include several performance categories.

Bob Bain was executive producer of the Creative Arts Emmys for the seventh time. The Television Academy’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards Committee is led by co-chairs Bob Boden and Rich Carter and vice chair Judalina Neira.

FXX will broadcast edited highlights from the Saturday and Sunday Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday, September 18, at 8:00 PM ET/PT.

A complete list of winners is available here.

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