Viola Davis made television history last night at the 67th Emmy awards when she became the first black woman to win the award for outstanding leading actress in a drama series, for her role in How to Get Away with Murder. In her moving acceptance speech, Davis quoted Harriet Tubman and spoke out about the lack of roles for women of color. As acceptance speeches go, it’s incredibly powerful.
“In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.” That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s. And let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So, here’s to all the writers, the awesome people that are Ben Sherwood, Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes. People who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black. And to the Taraji P. Hensons and Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goodes, to Gabrielle Union. Thank you for taking us over that line. Thank you for the Television Academy. Thank you.
Her words resonate beyond the realm of television. I can’t seem to get over this line in particular, because it could apply to any field, and is worth thinking about and repeating: “And let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.” Davis told it all right, and not just to the audience at the Emmys, but to the world.
Another moving speech at last night’s Emmy Awards was actress Uzo Aduba’s acceptance speech for best supporting actress in a drama, also a historic win given that she won an Emmy for Orange Is the New Blacklast year when the series was categorized as a comedy. Aduba took a special moment to acknowledge her sister and in doing so touched those of us who are so privileged to have siblings who stand by us and encourage us as we pursue our dreams. In the past, the OITNB actress has shared a story about her Nigerian name that also strikes a chord with those of us who have had to deal with people mispronouncing our names throughout our lives.
While Uzo Aduba isn’t actually that hard to pronounce, and there’s no shame in asking and making the effort to get someone’s name 100% right, did Jamie Lee Curtis really need to make reference to her initial discomfort with pronouncing Aduba’s name right when announcing the big win? Whatever her intention, the result was a moment that emphasized that the name was difficult and different to Curtis, and with an undercurrent or assumption that most viewers would feel the same and chuckle along with her. Well, I’m not playing along. But I will keep watching this adorable Giphy gif of Uzo and her sister Chi-Chi hugging in celebration.
Some Of The Desis At The Emmys
Actor, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj felt lucky to be standing behind presenter LL Cool J at the Emmys when he went onstage with the rest of the group from the longstanding Comedy Central series. The Daily Show won the award for outstanding variety talk series. Here’s Minhaj on the red carpet striking a pose with his fellow correspondents:
— Hasan Minhaj (@hasanminhaj) September 21, 2015
Bright colors on the red carpet were one of the fashion trends on display at the 2015 Emmys. Padma Lakshmi and Mindy Kaling joined in this trend with their stunning golden-hued gowns. Lakshmi is an executive producer of the cooking contest show Top Chef , which was nominated in the outstanding-reality competition category. She even wore the gown to her joyous reunion with In-N-Out Burger.
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) September 21, 2015
Kaling’s The Mindy Project was nominated in the category for outstanding costumes for a contemporary series, limited series or movie. She presented an Emmy statuette to “bae” Jon Stewart, whose Daily Show received a total of three Emmy awards. Kaling’s gown wasn’t the only eye-catching thing she wore on the red carpet — her super sparkly personalized clutch was a favorite as well.