By Derrik J. Lang
AP Entertainment Writer
LOS ANGELES — Before celebrating the Emmys, Kerry Washington and other TV insiders took a moment to toast diversity.
Washington was among the honorees at a pre-Emmy reception hosted Tuesday night by the television academy and the SAG-AFTRA actors union. The academy’s headquarters in North Hollywood were transformed into a jetsetting soiree complete with 1960s-era furniture and mid-century modern wall sculptures.
Washington, who is up for the outstanding lead actress in a drama series trophy for “Scandal” at Sunday’s ceremony, is the first black actress in nearly two decades to be nominated in the category since Cicely Tyson was in 1995 for “Sweet Justice.” She was joined at Tuesday’s affair by her “Scandal” co-stars Joe Morton and Dan Bucatinsky, who nabbed the outstanding guest actor in a drama Emmy at Saturday’s Creative Arts Emmys.
“We all know what the Emmys mean,” said Jason George, the “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Mistresses” actor who serves as the chair of SAG-AFTRA’s diversity advisory committee. “They are the aspiration for all actors who work in this medium, but tonight we’re shining a light on the diverse aspects of that.”
Other attendees who sipped vintage cocktails and noshed on mini gyros and stuffed grape leaves included Wilson Cruz, Ron Glass, Sharon Lawrence and Lisa Vidal.
The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards will air live Sept. 22 from the Nokia Theatre with Neil Patrick Harris serving as host.