Women Sweep Emmy Drama & Comedy Directing Categories For First Time With Jessica Hobbs & Lucia Aniello Wins

Female directors hit another milestone tonight when The Crown‘s Jessica Hobbs won Outstanding Directing For a Drama Series and Hacks‘ Lucia Aniello Won Outstanding Directing For a Comedy Series, respectively. This marks the first time women have swept both directing categories in the same year.

Hobbs being recognized for directing the Season 4 finale of Netflix’s The Crown, marks only the fourth time in 67 years that the Emmy Award in the Outstanding Directing For a Drama Series category has been won by a woman.

The rarity of the occasion was not lost on Hobbs, who also was nominated in the category for The Crown last year

“Not a lot of women have won this award so I feel I’m standing on the shoulders of some really extraordinary people,” she said on stage accepting the awards. “I’m very grateful for the path they led, and I particularly would like to pay tribute to my mom who at 77is still directing.”

New Zealand-born Hobbs is the daughter of director Aileen O’Sullivan.

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The other three female directors who have won a drama directing Emmy are Reed Morano in 2017 for The Handmaid’s Tale, Mimi Leader in 1995 for ER and Karen Arthur in 1985 for Cagney & Lacey. Arthur was the first female director to get an Emmy nomination in the category 30 years after it was launched.

Hobbs, who thanked former Netflix executives Cindy Holland and Nina Wolarsky in her speech, was one of three nominees in the drama directing category this year, which was tied for the most ever.

Here’s Hobbs’ speech:

Hacks co-creator Aniello, who won for directing the HBO Max comedy’s pilot episode, is the fifth woman ever to win the Outstanding Director For a Comedy Series Emmy; this is the seventh time overall a female director has topped the category, with Jill Soloway and Gail Mancuso as double winners. Betty Thomas was the first female director to take the trophy in 1993 for Dream On.

Aniello thanked series’ stars Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder “for giving so much of themselves to these characters.” She also thanked fellow Hacks co-creator Pawl W. Downs, revealing that the two got married last weekend. (Aniello and Downs co-created Hacks with Jen Statsky.)

Here’s Aniello onstage:


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