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‘The Queen’s Gambit’ takes out seven trophies on first night of Creative Emmy Awards

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The Queen’s Gambit, The Mandalorian, Saturday Night Live, The Crown and Pose were among the top winners on Saturday as the first wave of this year’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards were handed out in downtown Los Angeles.Netflix prevailed among networks and …

The Queen's Gambit, The Mandalorian, Saturday Night Live, The Crown and Pose were among the top winners on Saturday as the first wave of this year's Creative Arts Emmy Awards were handed out in downtown Los Angeles.

Netflix prevailed among networks and platforms with 12 wins, paced by seven trophies collected by the limited series, The Queen's Gambit.

The Queen's Gambit

The ceremony was held outdoors in a tent in the LA Live complex because of pandemic conditions. Attendance was much smaller than in previous years because of the need for social distancing to protect against COVID-19 outbreaks.

Those who did attend the show in person went through a gauntlet of paperwork and screenings on-site to prove that they were vaccinated and had tested negative for the virus within the past 48 hours.

The Queen's Gambit's haul included wins for period costumes, period makeup, production design and cinematography for a limited series. The increasingly international nature of production was highlighted as several winners for the program referenced living outside the US.

RELATED: Emmy Awards moved to outdoor event amid growing COVID-19 concerns in Los Angeles

"I'm bringing this baby home to Berlin," said set decorator Sabine Schaaf as she hoisted her Emmy.

The first of three Creative Arts Emmy Award presentations also fell on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. That milestone was not lost on Keith Raywood, who was among the Saturday Night Live (SNL) winners for production design on a variety series.

That was one of three categories taken by the venerable NBC late-night series that is heading into its 47th season this all. In his remarks, Raywood, a 37-year SNL veteran, noted the parallels between the upheaval wrought by the attacks on New York and the Pentagon in 2001 to the struggle today with the pandemic.

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Emmy Statute from the Creative Emmy Awards, 2021.

"Twenty years and two weeks ago we did our first show back," Raywood said of SNL's return to production after the attacks.

"That was the first time I realised I worked on more than a show, but something that mattered on a much bigger scale in people's lives. Last year it felt very similar to that moment."

Among the upset winners was HBO's A Black Lady Sketch Show for picture editing for variety programming, up against such Emmy darlings as SNL and fellow HBO series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

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Winner Daysha Broadway, who led the A Black Lady Sketch Show team that included Stephanie Filo and Jessica Hernandez, noted the milestone of that particular trio winning a top prize for editing, a craft that has traditionally been male-dominated but has also been a notable launching pad for renowned female cutters such as Thelma Schoonmaker.

Broadway was emotional as she emphasised how rare it is for one woman of colour to succeed at the highest levels in a craft, let alone three. Broadway said the recognition from industry peers demonstrated that Black and brown women have a range of talents that have yet to be seen on the world stage.

John Oliver accepts the Emmy for Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series for "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" at 2021 Creative Emmy Awards.

"Thank you for being you," Broadway said to chieftain Robin Thede, crediting the star and showrunner for insisting on diversity behind the scenes of the show at every level.

"Those job opportunities have already opened doors to potentially long careers in TV for many crew, craft and technical workers on the show.

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"It's a movement that has the effect of saying to Black and brown women: "We see you, we love you, you are not a monolith," Broadway said.

RELATED: The Queen's Gambit is getting turned into a stage musical

Unsurprisingly, FX's Pose won the trifecta of style awards, commanding the trophies for contemporary makeup, hairstyling and costumes in an extremely competitive year. Winners were also emotional about the show's legacy in driving change and opportunity in the industry for those previously marginalized beyond hope of ever having a career in Hollywood.

"For a little girl from the hood, this is a dream," said hairstylist Tene Wilder, one of six members of the team who took the contemporary hairstyling Emmy for FX's groundbreaking drama Pose.

Disney Plus' popular Star Wars-derived drama The Mandalorian came away with three wins, including single-camera cinematography for a half-hour series and prosthetic makeup. Netflix's The Crown captured two trophies, for cinematography for a single-camera series (one hour) and picture editing for a drama series.

The adventures continue in 'The Mandalorian' season two.

Another memorable moment came when presenters June Diane Raphael and Paul Scheer nearly had a snafu reminiscent of the 2017 Academy Awards when the wrong best picture winner was initially announced by presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. Raphael and Scheer stopped themselves before sending misinformation into the universe.

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"This does not feel right. This does not feel good," Scheer deadpanned on stage. "I was paying attention enough to know that this was not a person who was nominated."

Afterward, Raphael told reporters backstage that the moment was real, not scripted. "I had a moment where I looked at Paul and thought, 'Did we hear that nominee?'"

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It turned out that they had the right card, but were reading the wrong section. "I got yelled at by the accountant," Scheer added backstage. "The best part of my night was getting yelled at by the PricewaterhouseCoopers guy."

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