Hannah Gadsby has won a coveted Emmy for her globally lauded Netflix special, Nanette.
The Australian comedian took home the Emmy for outstanding writing for a variety special, seeing off other entertainment heavyweights including Beyoncé, Adam Sandler and Amy Schumer.
Gadsby, 41, was among the winners honoured at the creative arts ceremonies, held over two nights and staged one week before the prime-time Emmy Awards ceremony (Monday, September 23, AEST).
Nanette was also nominated for the outstanding variety special alongside Wanda Sykes’ special Not Normal, Beyoncé’s Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, and Bruce Springsteen’s Springsteen on Broadway.
The award went to US TV host James Corden’s nostalgic episode of Carpool Karaoke featuring Paul McCartney travelling through the streets of Liverpool.
Gadsby’s win was lauded by industry colleagues, including the ABC’s Charlie Pickering.
Intended as Gadsby’s swansong, Nanette picked up a Helpmann Award in 2017.
After Nanette was launched on Netflix, it made waves around the world for its cutting analysis of comedy, homophobia and sexual assault.
Gadsby returned to stand-up comedy earlier this year with her show, Douglas, which she is touring internationally.
Douglas has also been picked up by Netflix and is expected to drop on the streaming service in 2020.
Among the big winners of the night were The Simpsons (outstanding animated program), the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland (outstanding documentary or non-fiction special) and the Netflix documentary Our Planet (outstanding documentary or non-fiction series).
Leaving Neverland details allegations by two adult men – one Australian – that they were befriended and subsequently sexually abused by pop legend Michael Jackson when they were aged seven and 10.
The two-part documentary, which aired earlier this year in Australia, 10 years after Jackson’s death, was met with outrage by his family and brought fresh scrutiny to the singer’s legacy.
Brisbane choreographer Wade Robson told the documentary he was just five and growing up in Queensland when he met his idol after winning a Michael Jackson impersonation competition.
In 1989, when he was seven, he was invited to spend the week at the Neverland ranch where the alleged abuse began.
Jackson’s family and his estate have denied the accounts given by the men, calling them a “rehash of dated and discredited allegations”.
Beyoncé, whose 2018 Coachella festival concert film, Homecoming went into the weekend’s ceremony with six Emmy nominations, was beaten in all categories.
After Gadsby’s win, Australia still has seven other Emmy nominees.
Zoe White is nominated in the outstanding cinematography for a single-camera series (one hour) category for Hulu hit The Handmaid’s Tale.
Melbourne cinematographer Germain McMicking is up for an Emmy in for outstanding cinematography for a limited series or movie category for his work on HBO’s True Detective.
Production designer Deborah Riley is nominated in the outstanding production design for a narrative period or fantasy program (one hour or more) category for her work on the final season of Game of Thrones.
Producer Anna Dokoza’s short-form Netflix series Special is in the running for outstanding short-form comedy or drama series category, and fellow producer Jasper Leak is nominated for outstanding music supervision for Netflix special Quincy.
Australian creative designers Patrick Clair and Raoul Marks are nominated in the outstanding main title design for their work on the opening title sequence of True Detective.
Winners of all six categories will be announced at the second ‘creative arts’ Emmy ceremony on Monday (Australian time).