Rami Malek has become the first minority actor in 18 years to win the Emmy Award for best leading actor in a drama series.
The star, who is of Egyptian heritage, won the prize for his role in the USA Network drama Mr Robot. He said he hoped his win would open the door for more ethnic minority actors.
“For me to stand here as not the typical leading man and to have come home with this speaks a lot about where we’re headed,” he said. “I think we can keep going a lot further in that direction, not just in entertainment, but socially and politically, and strive to be as progressive as possible.”
Malek held off competition from actors including bookmakers’ favourite Kevin Spacey, who was nominated for House of Cards, The Americans’ Matthew Rhys and Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk.
The last non-white winner to win the trophy was Andre Braugher for Homicide: Life on the Street in 1998.
Malek was born in Los Angeles in 1981 to Egyptian parents. He went to Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California – graduating in 1999 along with fellow actor Rachel Bilson.
His film roles to date include Larry Crowne, Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, a recurring role in the Night At The Museum series.
Malek began starring in Mr Robot in 2015, a role that has also netted him a Critics’ Choice Award.
Meanwhile, Alan Yang and Aziz Ansari called for better Asian representation on screen after winning the Emmy for outstanding writing for a comedy series for Netflix series Master of None.
Host Jimmy Kimmel said, “Here in Hollywood the only thing we value more than diversity is congratulating ourselves on how much we value diversity,” reports BBC.