When the nominations are read at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on September 22, viewers won’t hear the show “Power” being mentioned. Because the crime drama, which is reportedly the second-most watched cable series at the moment, wasn’t nominated.
It was something 50 Cent was asked about during a panel discussion at the Television Critics Association Press Tour on Friday, and he said it was all because of race.
“Power” has an almost all-black cast, and as a result 50 said it’s just not on the Emmy voters’ radar.
“I like to say it’s racial,” explained the rapper, who’s an executive producer on the show. “That’s the easy way to get out of things. People who are running and connected to these ceremonies are not necessarily cool people.”
“So now we’ll never get one,” said show creator Courtney Kemp afterward.
50 also made the parallel between “Power” not being nominated for an Emmy and his debut album “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” not getting a Grammy nod, despite it being the biggest selling album of 2003. Grammy, Emmy and Oscar voters typically don’t base their nominations on most views or biggest sales numbers.
“People at awards ceremonies have always been late to my projects,” 50 explained. “This project, the content is the same material that I use for my music, and I didn’t receive the best new artist [award when I had] the largest debuting hip-hop album. I look at [‘Power’ not being nominated as] the same. I’m just going to make the numbers so high in viewership that they’ll be saying we [messed] up again.”
Kemp also gave her take as to why ‘Power’ hasn’t gotten an Emmy nod, and she feels it’s because the show has always been ahead of its time. But it has received a bevy of NAACP awards, including Outstanding Drama Series.
“The first couple of years, it was disappointing because I thought we were doing something new and fresh and I was hoping that the Emmy voters would take notice and then they didn’t,” she recalled. “And [you] just accept it and move on. But we’ve been winning [NAACP] Image Awards now for quite some time, so it feels as if our core audience does love and respect the show.”
“We were pioneers,” added Kemp. “Had we premiered maybe two or three years later, it might have been different. It’s just that we were up front and so it took a while for people in the mainstream to notice us. And by that time, that sweet-spot window had disappeared.”
The sixth and final season of “Power” premieres Aug. 25.