Awards shows have always been a primary vector for the entertainment industry’s decades-long campaign about how wonderful the entertainment industry is, but when it comes to issues of diversity, representation, and not-being-run-by-Les-Moonves, television clearly has a ways to go. So this year’s Emmys opened with the industry giving itself a pat on the back sarcastically, in this star-studded salute to diversity, “We Solved It”:
As comedy goes, the sharpest thing about the segment is the concept (and the conceptual joke that is the sketch’s pointedly diverse dance troupe “the One-of-Each Dancers”), although “You’re welcome, Asian people / We gave you that one show,” is a pretty good line. The most interesting thing about the opening though, is the timing: Les Moonves has barely been gone a week. This is not to say that it’s too soon to joke about the entertainment industry’s near-limitless ability to sweep things under the rug—as a warning for what’s certainly coming, it’s never too soon—but to point out that this opening number was probably originally planned to run in a world in which one of the big three broadcast networks was still openly being run by a man facing allegations of sexual misconduct. As it stands, we’ll have to wait until the next exposé to discover which parts of tonight’s show would have made us wince, if only we’d known. That’s progress, of a sort.