Visible Women

How the creator of Gilmore Girls made history at this year’s Emmys

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Moya Crockett
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Amy Sherman-Palladino raked in awards for her work on The Marvellous Mrs Maisel

The Emmys have been going for a long, long time. At the inaugural awards in 1949, there were only six trophies: the gong for most popular television programme went to a charades-based gameshow called Pantomime Quiz, while ventriloquist Shirley Dinsdale was named most outstanding television personality. Clearly, tastes in entertainment have changed since then.

But there are several things that haven’t changed in the 70-year history of the Emmys – particularly when it comes to gender and racial diversity. People of colour are still starkly underrepresented in the list of Emmys winners, and until this year, a woman had never picked up the award for comedy writing and the prize for comedy directing in the same night.

But at Monday’s Emmys ceremony (18 September), Amy Sherman-Palladino made history by taking home the trophies in both the comedy writing and directing categories. Sherman-Palladino was recognised for her work on The Marvellous Mrs Maisel, her critically-acclaimed Amazon series about a Jewish housewife in Fifties New York who becomes a stand-up comedian after her husband leaves her.

Rachel Brosnahan plays the title role in The Marvellous Mrs Maisel 

It was a bumper night for The Marvellous Mrs Maisel at the Emmys. As well as Sherman-Palladino’s awards, the show scooped the gong for outstanding comedy series, and the show’s stars Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein both took home trophies (in the lead comedy actress and supporting comedy actress categories respectively). 

In addition to her work on The Marvellous Mrs Maisel, Sherman-Palladino is best known as the creator of Gilmore Girls. She wrote many of the scripts between seasons one and six, and oversaw the beloved sitcom’s four-episode Netflix comeback in 2016.

As Sherman-Palladino took to the stage to accept her award for comedy writing, she tripped slightly. After taking the microphone, she joked: “Whoever put that carpet down hates women. Time’s up!” 

The Marvellous Mrs Maisel team at a post-Emmys party, including producer Daniel Palladino (second left) and writer and director Amy Sherman-Palladino (third right) 

She went on to thank her father, who “inspired this”, and her husband Daniel Palladino, who serves as an executive producer on The Marvellous Mrs Maisel and wrote and directed two episodes of the series. Palladino also wrote more than 40 episodes of Gilmore Girls alongside his wife.

“You are the Sid to my Nancy, mister,” Sherman-Palladino said. “And [to] my cast, my cast, my cast, your graciousness, your hard work, your brilliance, your endurance… I thank you, I love you.”

Backstage, Sherman-Palladino said she had one more person she’d forgotten to thank.

“My mother’s going to kill me because I mentioned my father and I didn’t mention my mother, but I was very surprised [to have won],” she explained.

“So mum, thank you for the ballet lessons – they got me this. I didn’t tour with Cats, but I got this.”

Throughout 2018, Stylist is raising the profiles of trailblazing women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.

Images: Getty Images