Master of None was one of 2015's biggest hits. The Netflix series, created by comedian Aziz Ansari and producer Alan Yang, is inventive, charming, and hilarious in the way it explores the relationships — with parents, significant others, friends — people have today and how we behave in those spaces. The show took us to places that felt new.
And on Sunday night, at the 2016 Critics' Choice TV Awards, it was recognized for excellence and awarded the trophy for Best Comedy Series.
Master of None owes a lot of its brilliance to its diverse cast, its writing, and Ansari's signature brand of comedy. But according to Yang's acceptance speech, it really wouldn't have been possible for the show to feel fresh and amazing without help from an unlikely source.
"Thank you to all the straight white guys who dominated movies and TV so hard, and for so long, that stories about anyone else seem kind of fresh and original," Yang joked. "Because you guys crushed it for so long, anything else seems kind of different."
Yang's speech emphasizes the progress that television has recently made with respect to diversity after such a long time. Minority-led shows like Master of None, How to Get Away With Murder, Empire, Fresh Off the Boat, and Black-ish — which all feature nonwhite actors and characters in prominent roles — largely didn't exist five years ago. Today, it's hard to imagine television without Cookie Lyon, Annalise Keating, Dev, or the Huangs or the Johnsons.
American television is starting to reflect what America looks like, and it's getting better because of it.