When things were all said and done at the Critics Choice Awards, Silicon Valley walked away with the big prize of the night for Best Comedy. But before the Silicon Valley cast and crew made their acceptance speech, Atlanta actor Keith Stanfield, who plays Darius, had something to say as well.
Stanfield went up on the stage and joked about working on Silicon Valley and thanked everyone for the honor saying, “I want to thank everybody for honoring us in this way. We worked very hard on Silicon Valley. And here we are. Thank you.” It was an incredibly awkward and confusing moment for most everyone there.
Obviously, this is reminiscent of Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards but it’s unknown exactly why Stanfield did this.
Reasons why this was done can range from the comical to the serious. On one end, it could have been a light-hearted moment meant to alleviate some tension and seriousness for a “comedy” award during a stuffy awards show. On the other end, it could have been a symbolic protest on Hollywood where voters in awards shows are mostly white and may not understand a show like Atlanta which centers on the Atlanta rap scene. And even though Atlanta is critically and publicly acclaimed, it may not connect with award voters as well and may cause shows like Atlanta to not win as many awards.
While voters didn’t feel Atlanta deserved Best Comedy, creator and executive producer Donald Glover did win Best Actor in a Comedy for his starring role as Earn. So at least there was some love given to the great show.
Whatever the reason, one thing is for certain. Every one of these shows nominated had a cast and staff who has worked tirelessly to put their vision on TV. Putting in that much work and losing at an awards show sucks. It’s great to be nominated but it’s better to win and everyone knows that, despite the positive reaction shots from those who do not win.
I have watched both Silicon Valley and Atlanta and both are great shows in their own way. Silicon Valley is great at making a satirical but very accurate portrayal of big technology companies in northern California. Atlanta is great at giving a groundbreaking look at the rap community in a city with a well-known rap scene and giving a view on the struggles of living and catching a break in the industry.
As far as which is best, you can make a case for both shows and be correct. In fact, when you include other nominees like Black-ish, Fleabag, Modern Family, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Veep, you can make a case for most of those shows that deserve to win. This also isn’t meant to ignore the fact that, yes, voters in award shows are usually white and many minorities in Hollywood feel underrepresented in award shows and Hollywood in general.
At the same time, Silicon Valley is a worthy winner with so many other worthy shows losing out. If Kevin Can Wait won for Best Comedy, that would be a more glaring indictment against Atlanta for being screwed out of the award. For Silicon Valley, it’s a worthy win and unfortunately Atlanta was on the losing end this time.