NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 12: (L-R) Daveed Diggs, Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom, Jr., and Renee Elise Goldsberry pose in the press room with their awards at the 70th Annual Tony Awards at The Beacon Theatre on June 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
In stark contrast to #OscarsSoWhite—the hashtag that criticized the Academy Awards’ lack of diversity in nominees—actors of color made history at the 70th Annual Tony Awards last night by taking home all four of the musical acting awards.
Cynthia Erivo took home a lead actress award for “The Color Purple,” while Renee Elise Goldsberry, Daveed Diggs and Leslie Odom Jr. took home the featured actress, featured actor and lead actor awards, respectively, for their roles in “Hamilton,” a critically acclaimed Broadway production which took home 11 awards last night, including best musical, and recently faced criticism for its casting call for “non-white” actors.
The last time the Tony Awards came close to this many winning actors of color was in 1982, Mic reports, when actors Ben Harney, Jennifer Holliday and Clevant Derricks took home awards for “Dreamgirls.” In 1985, all of the musical acting awards were won by actors of color, but the categories for lead actor and actress in a musical were not given out, so last night’s Tony Awards is truly a major feat.