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Bowen Yang makes history with Emmy nomination

The actor is one of the first Chinese Americans and the first "Saturday Night Live" featured player to be nominated for an acting award.
Bowen Yang as 'The Iceberg That Sank The Titanic' and anchor Colin Jost during Weekend Update on April 10, 2021.
Bowen Yang as the iceberg that sank the Titanic and anchor Colin Jost during "Weekend Update" on April 10.Will Heath / NBC

Bowen Yang has sealed his second season on "Saturday Night Live" with an Emmy nomination, making him the first featured player to be nominated for an acting award.

After spending one season as a writer in 2018, Yang became the first Asian American to join the main cast of "SNL." He became a fan favorite after bringing to life iconic characters like the iceberg that sank the Titanic, Flint the SoulCycle instructor and Fran Lebowitz on "Weekend Update."

It’s the first time in "SNL" history that a featured player — what cast members are called for their first two seasons on air — has been nominated for an Emmy. He's competing in the Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category.

NBCUniversal is the parent company of both "SNL" and NBC News.

Yang has also been praised for the way he’s tackled larger news items like anti-Asian racism.

“What can I say to help how insanely bad things are?” Yang said in a viral "Weekend Update" segment. “If someone’s personality is ‘punch an Asian grandma,’ it’s not a dialogue.”

His nomination also marks one of the few nods Asian Americans have gotten from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences over the years.

In 2018, Sandra Oh became the first Asian American woman to be nominated as lead actress, for “Killing Eve.” Archie Panjabi and Riz Ahmed have both taken home acting Emmys, in 2010 and 2017 respectively. In 2017, Chinese American actor B.D. Wong was nominated for outstanding guest actor in a drama series for “Mr. Robot.”