Kumail Nanjiani, Padma Lakshmi, “Indian Matchmaking” – all nominated for Emmys

“Indian Matchmaking” nominated for“Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program” at the Emmys. PHOTO: Instagram @simatapariaofficial

Gear up for the highly anticipated 75th Annual Emmy Awards that promises to showcase significant South Asian representation on a grand scale!  Kumail Nanjiani, Padma Lakshmi, and Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking have all been nominated for a prestigious television award. The 2023 Emmy Awards will take place Monday, September 18, 2023, and will be hosted by Yvette Nicole Brown and Frank Scherma.

Kumail Nanjiani, born in Karachi, Pakistan, has been a fan favorite in many American movies and TV shows.  He is known for roles such as Kingo in “Eternals” in 2021 where he played Marvel’s first South Asian superhero, and as Dinesh in HBO’s “Silicon Valley.”  Nanjiani’s “The Big Sick,” a movie based on his relationship which he co-wrote and starred in, was nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Original Screenplay” in 2018.  His first Primetime Emmy nomination was in 2019 for his role as Samir Wassan in an episode of “The Twilight Zone,” according to his IMDB profile.

He has been nominated for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie” this year.  He is up against Taron Egerton, Evan Peters, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Shannon, and Steven Yuen, according to the Emmys website.

Nanjiani’s nomination comes from his role as Somen “Steve” Bannerjee in Hulu’s biographical drama “Welcome to Chippendales” where he plays an Indian immigrant who opens the first all-male strip club.  Three other actors, Murray Bartlett, Annaleigh Ashford, and Juliette Lewis, have also been nominated for roles on the series along with the series’s costume department.

Kumail Nanjiani nominated for a“Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie” at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards.  PHOTO: Instagram @kumailn

Padma Lakshmi, who was born in Tamil Nadu, India, is a superstar chef known for hosting Bravo’s “Top Chef” cooking competition show since 2006.  Lakshmi has been nominated for 15 Primetime Emmys, 14 of which for her role as “Top Chef” host.  This year, the role earned her  nomination for “Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Competition Program,” which she has been nominated for in 2021 and 2022 as well.  Her second nomination is for her show “Taste the Nation” which explores diverse food from different cultures in America.

Padma Lakshmi’s “Taste the Nation” season 2 announced. PHOTO: Instagram @padmalakshmi

The New York Times reported that Lakshmi is leaving her acclaimed role as host for “Top Chef” after the recently wrapped up 20th season.  She told NYT that she wants to take more time to work on “Taste the Nation” and other pursuits such as her award winning cookbooks.

Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking” is an Indian reality show that follows matchmaker Sima Taparia helping her clients in both India and the US to find love.  The show, whose third season premiered on April 21, 2023, has been nominated for the “Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program” award, which it was also nominated for in 2021.  According to the Emmys website, “Indian Matchmaking” is against “Selling Sunset,” “Vanderpump Rules,” “Welcome to Wrexham,” and Rupaul’s “Untucked.”

The show has attracted quite a bit of criticism, especially after the release of the third season.  In addition to the widely discussed fact that none of Sima’s matches have resulted in marriage, the series has been condemned for its approach to religion, caste, and class.

“Indian Matchmaking” nominated for“Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program” at the Emmys. PHOTO: Instagram @simatapariaofficial

Neither two actors nor the series have ever won an Emmy, despite all of them having been nominated before.  No matter if Nanjiani, Lakshmi, or “Indian Matchmaking” win or lose their respective awards, the heavy South Asian representation signifies a major step forward for Desis in American media.



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