Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba and Regina King made the Emmys historic

21 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

LL Cool J celebrates Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis.

Los Angeles – Viola Davis made Emmy history on Sunday when she won the award for best actress in a drama series, becoming the first black woman to take the honor in the prestigious category.

This was followed by a tweet hailing Davis, the star of ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder” who became the first African-American to win a best actress Emmy, as “the bees knees.” It was a sweltering 106 degrees outside. “It’s literally on fire on the red carpet– figuratively, literally, all the words you could use to describe it. Aduba landed her second Emmy for Orange is the New Black, making history by being the only actress to win in two genres (both comedy and drama) for the same role. Henson, who plays hip-hop matriarch Cookie Lyon on Fox’s music melodrama “Empire.” Accepting her prize at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, the 50-year-old Davis evoked the spirit of African-American freedom fighter Harriet Tubman.

Henson and Kerry Washington, who both cried from their seats during the impassioned speech. “So here’s to all the writers, the awesome people — people who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black. ” Grahn was not impressed by Davis’ remarks and took to Twitter to vent. “Im a f—ing actress for 40 yrs. As a middle-aged African-American actress, Davis has spoken often of her frustration at casting directors who are unable to see past the color of her skin. “In my mind, I see a line. If it’s been 67 years since an actress of colour has won an Emmy then there is certainly a line.” “My story doesn’t end here,” she said. “There is so much work that needs to be done in so many areas in the business with actors of colour, so many narratives that need to be seen by people, so many stories that need to be seen and felt.” Davis’s friend and peer Taraji P. And let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity.” Davis wasn’t the only one to shatter records at the sweaty awards show last night. If you have talent, if you have endurance to deal with what you have to deal with to rise through the ranks, you can make it,” he explained. “Anything is possible.

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. ALL women belittled.” After many called her remarks racist via Twitter (#allactorsmatter is trending), the soap actress apologized. “My intention was not to take this historic and important moment from Viola Davis or other women of color but I realize that my intention doesn’t matter here because that is what I ended up doing.” She added later, “30 yrs an advocate 4 human rights & now i’m a racist. But this year’s Emmys saw the representation of black women as winners essentially triple — likely inspiring thousands of young women and children of color who yearn to see themselves on screen. Emmys host Andy Samberg touched on the hugely sensitive topic at the start of the awards gala, saying to applause: “The big story this year, of course, is diversity. Twitter can bring out the best & sadly tonight the worst of us.” Meanwhile, Davis didn’t have much downtime to celebrate the historic win. “Tomorrow I go back to work,” she told Entertainment Tonight at the awards show. “That’s how I digest it, ’cause I can press the fast-forward button and I know that I’m gonna have to continue to be an actor, continue to make choices, continue to perform in a show every week.”

That would be very unfortunate.” Davis, who was born in August 1965 on her grandmother’s farm in South Carolina, has described herself as “a young girl who grew up poor who dreamed the biggest dream and didn’t know if she was going to see it to fruition.” Her acting talent earned her a scholarship to the state’s Young People’s School for the Performing Arts, and after majoring in theater at Rhode Island College, she studied at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York. Though Grahn, a Daytime Emmy winner for acting on General Hospital, backtracked and sent out numerous apologies following the Twitter baclkash, the damage was done. In 2009, she was nominated for the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in “Doubt,” playing alongside Meryl Streep as the mother of a son who has an ambiguous relationship with the principal at his Catholic school.

Prior to that recognition, Davis won a Tony Award in 2001 for her performance in “King Hedley II,” where she played a woman in her mid-30s seeking an abortion. Over the past decade, Davis has landed bit parts in a series of critically acclaimed films, most notably “Traffic,” “Out of Sight,” “Antwone Fisher,” “Syriana,” “World Trade Center,” and “Disturbia.” The show’s final and most exciting win for outstanding drama series was surprisingly the first for the show, giving HBO wins for both best drama and best comedy (for Veep), which NBC was the last network to accomplish in 2002 for The West Wing and Friends. For Grahn to think that way — and to say also tweeted that Davis has “never been discriminated against”) — is not only disingenuous, but also oblivious to the obstacles actresses like Davis have had to overcome. To hear Davis describe her career is to hear someone who loves acting for acting’s sake — because she certainly hasn’t had an easy path. “I’ve been in this business 35 years, and 27 years professionally,” Davis told reporters backstage at the Emmys. “I’m the journeyman actor that you saw in one scene here, two scenes there.

I’ve seen the unemployment line a lot.” In addition, it’s important to acknowledge that the night’s big wins showed only a small margin of diversity in the grand scheme of things.

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