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2022 Emmys Parties Celebrate the Changing Face of Awards Winners

From Lizzo to the 'Squid Game' cast, groundbreaking winners were the center of attention at this year's Emmys parties.

Sheryl Lee Ralph, Quinta Brunson

Sheryl Lee Ralph and Quinta Brunson, winners for “Abbott Elementary,” attend the 74th Primetime Emmys Governor’s Gala.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Is there any better way to kick off a party than to have Lizzo, fresh off an Emmy win for Outstanding Reality Competition, walk into the building to the band playing her own hit “About Damn Time,” moving her to run over and christen the dancefloor?

The afterparties for the 2022 Primetime Emmys started with the Governors Gala, which happened outdoors at L.A. Live, only a short walk away from the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, where the awards show took place. The massive venue, basically a city block filled with bars and food stations at every corner, was space for Emmys host Kenan Thompson to take a victory lap, and the first stop for many winners, including Lizzo and Quinta Brunson and Sheryl Lee Ralph of “Abbott Elementary.” The latter pair moved through the party surrounded by a swarm of well-wishers almost certainly cementing that the ABC sitcom is a new TV Academy favorite likely to be right back at the Emmys next year.

Close by at Otium, the restaurant next to Los Angeles’ contemporary art museum The Broad, was Disney’s Emmy Awards Celebration, thrown in honor of nominees from shows on ABC, Disney+, Hulu, FX, National Geographic, and more. Walking through a verdant floral walkway into the event space, it was clear that many casts were congregating with each other, including nominees Sebastian Stan and Lily James of “Pam and Tommy” and Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult of “The Great” at the two booths flanking each side of the DJ booth. Still, the party was space for multiple interesting celebrity reactions including a long talk between Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series nominee Andrew Garfield (“Under the Banner of Heaven”), James Corden, and Kumail Nanjiani. Amanda Seyfried, winner of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for her performance on “The Dropout,” also made the rounds with husband Thomas Sadoski, Emmy in hand. It was a space heavy on dancing and light on sore losers.

In Hollywood, both Apple TV+ and Netflix had cause for celebration, with the former commemorating “Ted Lasso” winning Outstanding Comedy Series for the second year in a row at the exclusive new Italian restaurant Mother Wolf, and the latter netting big acting wins for “Ozark” and “Squid Game.” Entering the Netflix party at Milk Studios felt similar to entering a museum, with the main party room having an upper deck for chatting, that wound down to the dancefloor. The “Squid Game” crew held court at the back of the event space, with nominees Jung Ho-yeon, Park Hae-soo, and Oh Yeong-soo in attendance alongside Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series winner Lee Jung-jae (who seemed to have come to accept having to pose for a perpetual amount of professional photos throughout the night).

Other sightings include new three-time Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series winner Julia Garner (“Ozark”) talking to three-time Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series winner Aaron Paul, and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 14 contestant Maddy Morphosis.

IndieWire caught up with Governors Awards recipient Geena Davis at the Netflix party, who said what is next for her and Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media CEO Madeline Di Nonno is to “keep plugging away” at improving diversity and inclusion in Hollywood. “We have made a lot of progress in gender. But there’s so many underrepresented segments of society like LGBTQ people, and obviously, people of color and people with disabilities, and all kinds of things, older actors. So we have a lot to still work on. But we really have moved the needle for women,” said the actress and activist.

Closing the night at HBO/HBO Max Emmy nominees reception in West Hollywood, at members-only spot San Vicente Bungalows, were some winners exemplifying the change Davis seeks. Zendaya, who is now the only Black woman to have won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series twice, occupied a corner spot seated between her mother and “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson, who’s new HBO series “The Idol” is still finding a concrete release date.  Jean Smart, who won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the second year in a row, was also at the party with most of her “Hacks” costars. And Colman Domingo, who had been somewhat of an unofficial party host throughout the past couple Emmys weekends as the ambassador for sponsor Ketel One vodka and a winner at the Creative Arts Emmys for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for “Euphoria” as well, roamed the party beaming ear to ear alongside his husband Raúl.

Additional Reporting by Alison Foreman and Christian Zilko.

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