‘Succession’ Creator Jesse Armstrong “Un-Thanks” COVID-19, Donald Trump As HBO Series Wins Best Drama Emmy

Succession capped its four-win Sunday night by winning the marquee Best Drama Series at the 72nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards, duplicating the feat from the Golden Globes and helping HBO win the overall crown as the network with the most wins this Emmy season.

Like the rest of the night’s winners, Succession creator Jesse Armstrong accepted the honor from afar — in his case a hotel room in London. In honor of the year of the pandemic, he opted for a series of “un-thank-yous” in his speech.

“Un-thank you to the virus, for keeping us all apart this year, un-thank-you to President Trump for his crummy and uncoordinated response to it,” said Armstrong, who earlier in the night won the Writing for a Drama Series Emmy for Succession‘s “This Is Not For Tears” episode. After similar words for the UK’s Boris Johnson and “nationalists and quasi-nationalist governments, he added, “And un-thank you to the media moguls who do so much to keep them in power.”

Succession, in fact about a family that owns a media empire, also saw wins tonight for Jeremy Strong as Actor in a Drama, beating out his fellow castmate Brian Cox; and Andrij Parekh for Directing in a Drama Series. In all, the series won seven Emmys this year from 18 total nominations.

Emmys 2020: Wins By Program & Network/Platform

“This is a wonderful achievement for the whole group,” Armstrong said after the show’s name was announced in the final category of the night. Fittingly, a phone rang in the background as he was talking, a nod to the most unorthodox Emmys in memory owing to the restrictions put on the show by the coronavirus.

Succession, which scored five Emmy nominations for its freshman season, was renewed for a third season last August. Its win tonight kept the Drama Series trophy with HBO, which won it last season for the final run of Game of Thrones.

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