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Monday, July 17, 2023

10-Year-Old From Maryland Becomes First Black Deaf Boy to Earn Emmy Nomination

Keivonn Woodard

Nationwide — Keivonn Woodard, a 10-year-old boy from Bowie, Maryland, has made history as the first Black deaf actor to be nominated for an Emmy Award. He received a nomination in the category of Outstanding Guest Actor in a drama series for his role in HBO’s “The Last of Us.”

The post-apocalyptic zombie series, based on a popular 2013 video game, features Woodard as Sam, a deaf child with leukemia. While his video game counterpart isn’t deaf, the producers decided to cast a deaf actor for the role, making Woodard’s performance stand out on the critically-acclaimed show.

Woodard expressed his awareness of the nomination’s “importance and huge impact” on actors like him, according to Deadline. His mother April Jackson-Woodard also shared her joy and surprise, saying she “never thought or dreamed it would happen” to his son, especially on his first TV show.

In his historical achievement, Woodard also became the youngest-ever nominee in the Outstanding Guest Actor category and the second-youngest person to be nominated overall for an Emmy Award.

Alongside his acting aspirations, Woodard is also passionate about hockey and dreams of becoming the first deaf Black player in the National Hockey League.

Be sure to follow him on Instagram @KeivonnWoodard