2017 Emmy Awards: Inside the after-parties your TV favs party with the Handmaids

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It turns out Stephen Colbert may be more than the typical Emmy “host.”

Or so viewers were led to believe during a skit that transported the Emmy emcee to the world of “Westworld.” 

When Colbert started spouting gibberish on stage, two people clad in hazmat suits appeared to drag him away. When Colbert came to, he was face to face with Jeffrey Wright, a.k.a. Bernard from HBO’s “Westworld.” 

In “Westworld,” the androids that populate the immersive theme park are known as “hosts.” What follows is Wright running a diagnostic on Colbert.

“Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?” asks Wright. 

“Every day since November 8th,” answers Colbert.

Watch the full segment above. 

Sept. 17, 2017, 11:06 p.m.

Margaret Atwood talks about her Emmy win: ‘You can say the handmaids have escaped’

Bruce Miller, from left, Margaret Atwood and Elisabeth Moss accept the Emmy for drama series for “The Handmaid’s Tale.” (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

With “Game of Thrones” debuting too late to be eligible for this year’s Emmys, plenty of fresh names were in the running for best drama series. But ultimately, Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” —  based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel about a futuristic, totalitarian patriarchal theocracy that prizes fertile women above all else — scored the top honor.

Creator Bruce Miller had no trouble answering what he hopes audiences will take away from the show: “a desire to watch the second season,” he replied quickly. “No, if we’ve done our job well, it’ll be different for everyone who watches it.”   

On Hulu being the first streaming service to win one of the Emmy’s top two prizes,” Miller added: “The way Hulu handled our show, they were bold and behind us and committed to making something different. If streaming services continue to do that, I don’t see a limit to what they [can do].”

The entire evening, said Elisabeth Moss — who won the Emmy for lead actress for her role as Offred — was a “roller coaster of emotions.”  

Perhaps that’s what prompted the F-bombs during her acceptance speech.

“That was the best version you could have gotten of that — that was the clean version,” she joked. “You do have an out-of-body experience [accepting the award]. It’s a surprise. It should be a surprise; otherwise, you’re an A-hole.” 

On a more serious note, Moss added that the many wins for women Sunday night — and for such strong roles — could be considered a positive turn for Hollywood: “We’ve made incredible progress, but there’s still a lot of work to be done,” she said. “But obviously incredible progress is being made. It’s not just women in front of the camera but behind the camera. … we need to see more of that.”

“As a young actor, you don’t pay attention to the limitations placed upon you,” said Ann Dowd, who won the Emmy for supporting actress. “Now there are so many more opportunities. It’s a beautiful thing.

“There’s a war going on every day, a battle for women’s rights,” producer Warren Littlefield added. “And the fact that we can remind people that the resistance is alive — there are days in America that feels like it’s a prequel to [the show’s fictitious Republic of] Gilead, so maybe we can help with the fight.”

Atwood finally stepped forward to offer what she hopes people will take away from the book and the TV series. 

“Well, one take-away would be ‘never believe it can never happen here,’” she said. “Which was one of the premises I used for the book. Nothing went into the book that people hadn’t done at some point in time, in some place.”

Then she mentioned several pop cultural offshoots of “Handmaid’s Tale” that the show’s popularity has sparked. There’s a graphic novel, she said, and a man’s version of “The Handmaid’s Tale” on YouTube, apparently. And she receives fan pictures of viewers’ pets — dogs, cats — dressed in Handmaids’ garb.

“In a way, you can say the handmaids have escaped,” Atwood said. “They’re out there, and they’re coming to you again in Season 2!” 

Sept. 17, 2017, 11:36 p.m.

It wasn’t just Sean Spicer: How Donald Glover, Lena Waithe and, yes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus made Emmys history

Reed Morano is the second woman to win a directing Emmy. She got the nod for “The Handmaid’s Tale.” (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

This year’s  were memorable for a number of reasons, and not just for  when Sean Spicer rolled that lectern onstage.

Donald Glover, the multi-hyphenate behind FX’s groundbreaking comedy “Atlanta,” became the first black director to win an Emmy for comedy direction. Glover won for “B.A.N.,” an experimental stand-alone episode set in “Atlanta’s” alternate-universe Black Entertainment Television. It was one of the first-year series’ best episodes, blistering in its honest and funny look at race, outrage culture and black masculinity.

“Atlanta’s” Donald Glover is the first black director to win an Emmy and is only the second black man to win lead actor in a comedy. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Glover also won the Emmy for lead actor in a comedy, becoming just the second black man to take that award. Robert Guillaume won for “Benson” in 1985.

Lena Waithe, the first black woman ever nominated for comedy writing, took that Emmy for the “Master of None” episode “Thanksgiving,” which she co-wrote with series creator Aziz Ansari. The episode’s story, inspired by Waithe’s own life, followed her character, Denise, discovering her sexuality over the course of her life and finally revealing it to her mother.

Lena Waithe, the first black woman nominated for comedy writing, took the Emmy for co-writing the “Master of None” episode “Thanksgiving.” (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

“I had survived that thing that I was so afraid of,” Waithe told The Times of her coming-out experience.

Sept. 17, 2017, 10:45 p.m.

Emmy-winning TV movie ‘San Junipero’ from ‘Black Mirror’ originally starred a hetero couple

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Creator Charlie Brooker won writing for a limited series or movie, and later the episode picked up a second win for TV movie.

In a backstage reveal at the Emmys, Brooker explained that the episode — starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mackenzie Davis — about technologically star-crossed lovers, was originally written for a heterosexual couple. It wasn’t until Brooker decided to make them a queer couple that things started to fall into place. 

“It became more fun, more interesting,” he said. “It was sort of easiest to write in a way. We felt we captured something special, and the reaction has been quite overwhelming — the way people have taken it to heart. I’m genuinely a cynic, as you can tell from the series, so the fact that this happened blows up my worldview.”


He also addressed the fact that the winning episode is markedly different from most of the “Black Mirror” offerings in that it presents a world of hope rather than the usual ultra-dark fare the series offers.

“It was out of place deliberately. It was the first episode I wrote for this season because I wanted to blow up my preconceptions for the show,” Brooker said.

That subversion of tone became particularly resonant this year, a point the “Black Mirror” showrunner underlined in his acceptance speech. 

“I’ve heard 2017 described as being trapped — like being trapped in one long, unending ‘Black Mirror’ episode,” Brooker said, “But I like to think if I had written it, it wouldn’t be quite so on the nose with all the sort of Nazis and hate.”

Sept. 17, 2017, 10:28 p.m.

The 2017 Emmy Awards was a big win for the LGBTQ community

Lena Waithe giving her acceptance speech with Aziz Ansari at the 2017 Emmy Awards. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Among the biggest winners at the 2017 Emmy Awards: LGBTQ stories and storytellers. 

Kate McKinnon was one of the early winners of the evening Sunday, beating a field that included some of her “Saturday Night Live” colleagues to take home the award for supporting actress in a comedy series. The first openly lesbian cast member of the sketch comedy show, McKinnon made her mark this season with portrayals of Hillary Clinton, Jeff Sessions, Kellyanne Conway, Betsy DeVos and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

Lena Waithe of “Master of None” made history as the first black woman to win the Emmy for writing in a comedy series. Waithe, who also plays Denise on the Netflix series, co-wrote the “Thanksgiving” episode with the show’s co-creator, Aziz Ansari. The intensely personal story was based on Waithe’s own coming out story. 

In her speech Sunday, Waithe gave a shout-out to fellow members of the LGBTQ community, calling them superheroes and saying that “the world would not be as beautiful as it is if you weren’t in it.” 

“Black Mirror” won for its “San Junipero” episode, which tells the story of two women falling in love at a beach resort town (which — spoiler alert — is actually a simulated reality). The show won for best TV movie and writing for a limited series, movie or dramatic special. 

During the telecast, host Stephen Colbert sat down for an interview with the Emmy statue herself, a golden-winged woman played by RuPaul, TV’s most famous drag queen. 

RuPaul was a winner this year too, nabbing the award for host of a reality or reality-competition series for the second consecutive year at the Creative Arts Emmys last weekend. 

And no fewer than three gay icons came together during the ceremony’s “9 to 5” reunion. The Emmys brought Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda onstage to present the award for supporting actor in a limited series or TV movie (won by Alexander Skarsgard for “Big Little Lies”). 

Add a big night for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which had its own lesbian story line, and that’s a lot of love for LGBTQ television — even in a year when “Transparent” went winless. 

Sept. 17, 2017, 10:17 p.m.

Emmys 2017: A view from the treacherous march from the Emmys to the Governors Ball

Making it from the Emmys broadcast home at the Microsoft Theater to the convention center across the street, , is no easy feat for those in heels. But even with screaming toes and ankles betraying our age, the select few with ball tickets make the trek.

“We’re all teetering at this point of the night,” actress Yvette Nicole Brown said. “But I’m not above taking these off… I don’t care if it’s downtown. They can talk.”

Her friend, actress Anika Noni Rose, laughed and mused about what could make the walk easier in the future.

“Golf carts. Moving walkways. I’ve thought about all of this,” she said.

Walking up to the Governors Ball, guests were met with a red carpet lined with bottles of water and pre-poured white wine. A string version of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” — played by an all-female quartet on the inside — was in the air.

Once inside, the convention center was transformed into a faux starry night sky. Gold pipes hung from the ceiling in waves.

Then the quartet kicked into a rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” And no one who made that long walk did.

Sept. 17, 2017, 9:58 p.m.

Riz Ahmed talks about diversity onscreen after his Emmy win for ‘The Night Of’

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Riz Ahmed, Emmy winner for best actor in a limited series for playing the role of “Naz” in the bleak HBO drama “The Night Of”  fielded questions about the importance of diversity onscreen.

“I don’t know if any one person’s win of an award, or one person’s snagging one role, or one person doing really well, changes anything when it comes to a systemic lack of inclusion,” he said. “I think what we’re starting to see is more awareness around how beneficial it can be to tell a diverse range of stories in a way that is authentic.”

Still, he was very pleased to be standing right where he was.

“When I heard my name announced, I thought, ‘Whose idea is that?’ I just felt really lucky to be mentioned bedside those actors,” he said of winning in a category that included Robert DeNiro, Geoffrey Rush and his “Night Of” co-star John Turturro. “I learned so much from John in particular, I feel like I share this with him.”

Behind the scenesWinners Sept. 17, 2017, 10:05 p.m.

Just a big ol’ gallery of Emmy winners kissing their trophies

Los Angeles Times StaffLena Waithe of “Master of None.” (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Here it is, the obligatory roundup of Emmy favs kissing on their Atom lady. But what sparks this trophy love between recipient and award? Is this genuine joy from an ecstatic winner, or was it prompted by the red carpet photographers angling for a quality photo-op?

Truly this is the chicken and the egg conundrum of award season. We may never know the answer, but also who cares Lena Waithe looks great holding gold. 

Donald Glover poses with his Emmys for lead actor in a comedy series and director of a comedy series, for “Atlanta.” (Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images)Elisabeth Moss of “The Handmaid’s Tale” with her Emmys for drama series and actress in a drama series. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses in the press room with her awards for lead actress in a comedy series and omedy series for “Veep.” (Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)Kate McKinnon with her award for supporting actress in a comedy series for “Saturday Night Live.” (Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)


Politics Sept. 17, 2017, 9:48 p.m.

Hollywood was not having Sean Spicer’s Emmy cameo

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Sean Spicer’s cameo during the Emmy Awards generated a mixture of emotions.

There was surprise, of course, when Spicer made an appearance during Stephen Colbert’s opening monologue. But inside the Microsoft Theater on Sunday evening there also appeared to be a bit of consternation. Cameras, for instance, caught Melissa McCarthy, who impersonated the embattled former White House press secretary on “Saturday Night Live,” appearing less than amused.

Colbert wheeled out Spicer at the end of his monologue for a gag that recalled Spicer’s presser about President Trump’s inauguration attendance.

“This will be the largest audience to witness the Emmys, period. Both in person and around the world,” said Spicer, who’s been making several public appearances since in July. 

But the former communications director’s reception on Twitter was far more scathing. In this divisive political era, critics berated the Emmys for making light of Spicer’s behavior. As press secretary, Spicer was known for his combative behavior, as he often reprimanded reporters, and he came to symbolize the administration’s use of so-called “alternative facts.” 

Here’s a sampling:

Sept. 17, 2017, 10:07 p.m.

Why Stephen Colbert was the right Emmys host in the year of Trump

Emmys host Stephen Colbert being carried in a bit inspired by HBO’s “Westworld.” (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

For its 69th festival of self-benediction, broadcast Sunday on CBS, the Television Academy brought on Stephen Colbert as its master of ceremonies. Already on the CBS payroll, already schooled in hosting — it is two years almost to the day that, having abandoned his ironic “Colbert Report” persona, he took over “The Late Show” — he was an obvious choice for this job. It was a choice made even easier, to be sure, as his numbers improved and the narrative surrounding “The Late Show” turned from disappointment to delight.

As a comedian, it’s Colbert’s job to take things apart, but he is temperamentally a thoughtful, philosophical, gracious, happy sort of humorist. Like “The Late Show,” where Colbert shows himself more interested in philosophy than celebrity self-promotion, Colbert’s Emmys show was, not surprisingly, genial, pointed, exuberant, just a little bit outrageous and marked by a kind of bemused patience with the vanities of Hollywood that did not exempt the host. When he led the audience in “the traditional Hollywood prayer: Lord, thank you for giving us talent and beauty and the gaping hole inside of each of us that craves love and will never be filled,” that was not meant just in fun. . . .

Stephen Colbert hosts the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

. . .The monologue began as a mix of good and bad jokes, like any late-night monologue, mostly on lightweight topics. There was the usual engaging with selected stars in the front row seats. But it was the Donald  jokes — the current administration being the source of much of “The Late Show’s” invigorated focus — that one awaited.

Why didn’t you give him an Emmy? If he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president. This is all your fault.

Stephen Colbert

“If we’re honest with ourselves,” Colbert said finally, “we know that the biggest TV star of the last year is Donald Trump,” whom he grouped with television’s other “morally compromised anti-heroes” as “Walter Much-Whiter.” He read, in Trump’s voice, an old Trump tweet about Seth Meyers hosting the Emmys: “He is very awkward, with almost no talent. Marbles in his mouth.” Meyers, in the audience, opened his mouth, and marbles poured out.

“Unlike the presidency,” said Colbert, “Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote.” And then an aside, “Where do I find the courage to tell that joke in this room?” . . .

. . .What did shock the room came next, as Colbert, noting Trump’s obsession with ratings, and wondering whether there were a way to know how well the broadcast was doing at that moment, brought former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on to say, “This will be the largest audience to witness any Emmys, period, both in person and around the world.”

Sept. 17, 2017, 9:57 p.m.

Emmy-winning ‘Big Little Lies’ on those Season 2 possibilities: ‘I don’t think you should trust anything we say’

Emmy winner for “Big Little Lies” Nicole Kidman.

When “Big Little Lies” director Jean-Marc Vallee and the star-studded cast of HBO’s “Big Little Lies” appeared backstage after winning the Emmy for best limited series, everyone wanted to know one thing: Just how “limited” did the show’s creators intend to keep it? Would there be a Season 2?

“I’m just like the audience, and like these girls and everyone else,” Vallee said, gesturing to two of his leading ladies, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, who stood smiling beside him. “It would be great to reunite the team. Are we gonna be able to do it? I wish. We’ll see what the future holds.”

Witherspoon giddily interjected, “You already know we’re liars, I don’t think you should trust anything we say.”

Kidman also fanned the flames of fan hope for the popular show, which was based on the best-selling novel by Liane Moriarty.

“We loved playing these roles. The story lines are so interesting, and it would be fantastic if we could continue.”

However, the only person who really has the authority to decide the future was Moriarty, who said coyly, “I’m thinking about it, it’s a beautiful possibility.”

The show, Witherspoon said, stands on its own whether a Season 2 comes to pass, thanks to its thoughtful treatment of its Emmy-nominated female leads.

“If you talk about changing things in society, about the way you see women in film and women at the center of a story … this is a real watershed moment for me,” she said. “All of these women are the heroes of their own stories, and they are complicated. They aren’t good or bad. The performances are very diverse.”

SpeechesWinners Sept. 17, 2017, 8:51 p.m.

Sterling K. Brown finishes his acceptance speech backstage at the Emmys

Sterling K. Brown backstage with his Emmy for lead actor in a drama series. (Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

NBC’s “This Is Us,” which follows the story of a family at different stages in their lives, is nothing if not a tearjerker. So it was appropriate that when Sterling K. Brown took the podium in the press room on Sunday, his eyes were seemingly bloodshot, as if he had been crying.

When asked if he had more to say after his acceptance speech was cut off, he quickly brightened. 

“I wouldn’t mind finishing, thank you for the invitation. I want to thank our writers,” said Brown, who won the Emmy for lead actor in a drama series. “You guys are our life supply.” He then went on to thank the show’s producers and directors and his family members.

“I want to represent; I don’t want to be a flash in the pan,” Brown said. “I love what I do so much. I feel like I have 1,000 people living inside of me, and I’m just looking for an opportunity to let them all out. It feels big.”

“This Is Us,” he said, has resonance, even internationally, because “it’s about real people dealing with real life and trying to figure out what’s next. Everyone can relate to that.”

SpeechesWinners Sept. 17, 2017, 8:37 p.m.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus on her Emmy wins: ‘I think the world would be a better place if more women were in charge’

Julia Louis-Dreyfus was all smiles backstage with her Emmy for lead actress in a comedy series. (Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

Sunday was a good night for HBO’s “Veep.” The political satire and two-time Emmy-winning comedy series about the first female POTUS not only received 17 Emmy nominations, but took home one of the evening’s top prizes, the Emmy for best comedy series.

With a mix of cast and show creatives behind them, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won the Emmy for lead actress in a comedy series, and executive producer David Mandel addressed the crowd.

“In our show, when Selina does something horrible or lies, she gets caught and actually pays a price for it,” Mandel said right off the bat, alluding, with a verbal wink, to President Trump. 

On whether the evening’s many wins for women indicate a permanent shift in Hollywood, Louis-Dreyfus jumped in.

“God, I hope so,” she said. “Let’s hope this is the beginning of something even better in our country — and in the world — because I think the world would be a better place if more women were in charge.”

Then she turned to Mandel: “Right, David?!”

“You ARE in charge,” Mandel said to her. “You’re my boss!”

Speeches Sept. 17, 2017, 8:24 p.m.

Here’s what got bleeped out from Elisabeth Moss’ acceptance speech

(Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The 2017 Emmy Awards did not use its tape-delay much but it definitely had a moment during Elisabeth Moss’ acceptance speech for lead actress in a drama series.

After going through a laundry list of people who have supported her over her years in the industry – Moss has been acting since she was 8 – she made a point to single out her mother.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” actress then credited her mother with teaching her that, “You can be kind and a [F-word] badass.”

Though audiences at home didn’t hear the message due to censors, it’s a sentiment worth sharing.

Winners Sept. 17, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ wins Emmy for drama series

Los Angeles Times Staff(Hulu)

Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” wins the Emmy Award for drama series.

The other nominees were:

“Better Call Saul”

“The Crown”

“House of Cards”

“Stranger Things”

“This Is Us”


Winners Sept. 17, 2017, 7:56 p.m.

Elisabeth Moss wins Emmy for lead actress in a drama

Los Angeles Times Staff(Jordan Strauss/Invision/Associated Press)

Elisabeth Moss of “The Handmaid’s Tale” wins the Emmy Award for lead actress in a drama.

The other nominees were:

Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”

Claire Foy, “The Crown”

Keri Russell, “The Americans”

Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld”

Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Winners Sept. 17, 2017, 7:52 p.m.

Seven-time Emmy winner Don Roy King on a big year for ‘SNL’: ‘This year it felt different’

Don Roy King of “Saturday Night Live” won the Emmy for directing a variety series. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Don Roy King took a single, salient question in the press room after winning the Emmy for directing in a variety series for his work on “Saturday Night Live,” his seventh win since 2010.

Why is comedy so important in the current fraught political climate? (This, by the way, is perhaps the single most-asked question of the entire night at the Emmys thus far.)

In response, King said, “I have been proud of the show … which I think is designed to make people laugh. But this year it felt different, more important, like we were holding people accountable, doing some healing.

“It felt like we were soothing some frayed nerves, and for that reason it felt even more important … more cutting-edge and valuable.”

SpeechesWinners Sept. 17, 2017, 7:52 p.m.

Kate McKinnon sidesteps politics in the Emmys press room

Kate McKinnon with her Emmy. (Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

On a night when the Primetime Emmys and the stars in attendance relentlessly skewered President Trump and his administration, Kate McKinnon, who nabbed the Emmy for supporting actress in a comedy series for her work on “Saturday Night Live,” was notably subdued in the press room after her win.

She never spoke more than a sentence or two at a time and shied away from saying anything overtly political, other than repeating the fact that she was a fan of Hillary Clinton, whom she famously portrayed during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

What did she think of Sean Spicer appearing onstage that night?

“I enjoyed seeing him again,” she said, not tipping her hand.

Did she have a favorite skit or episode from this season?

“I can’t pick a favorite. Every week had this special electricity running through it,” she said. “It was a banner year to be part of the show. I was so proud to be a fly on the wall for this particular season.”

What are her feelings about Clinton?

“I’m certainly a great admirer of hers, and I hope that it’s mutual. I think that it is.”

How does she feel about playing the former first lady, and the first ever woman to be the frontrunner for president?

“It’s just been the greatest honor of my life, and the greatest role I’ve gotten to play. Again, I’m just a huge admirer of hers.”

What was it like having dinner with Clinton?

“It was very surreal and wonderful, and she was warm and gracious as always, and I ate too much.”

Why does humor matter so much in this day and age?

“I could write a book. Satire is so important whenever there is anything floating around in the national consciousness, and the salience of our show this year just proves that.”

Was it a nonstop battle to keep up with the constantly shifting political landscape when it came to writing the show each week?

“There were a few times when we had to rewrite some major stuff the night before. It was kind of like a sport sometimes, racing to the finish line. It was wild, I loved it.”

The president has tweeted his displeasure with McKinnon’s “SNL” co-star, Alec Baldwin. Has McKinnon heard anything from Trump?

“I have not heard from the president.”

If he were to write to her, what does she think he would say?

“I do not know.”

Pause, pause. And then she left the stage, leaving her interlocutors wishing for a joke.

Winners Sept. 17, 2017, 7:52 p.m.

Sterling K. Brown wins Emmy for lead actor in a drama

Los Angeles Times Staff(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Sterling K. Brown of NBC’s “This Is Us” wins the Emmy Award for lead actor in a drama series.

The other nominees were:

Anthony Hopkins, “Westworld”

Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”

Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”

Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”

Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”

Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us”

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