If you watched last night’s 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, you probably had two questions: What the hell is “Olive Kitteridge”? Should we now refer to “How To Get Away With Murder’s” Viola Davis, the first Black woman to win Best Actress In A Drama, as Queen Viola Davis?
The awards ceremony—in which host Andy Samberg did his best to bring his affable dufus brand of comedy to a staunchly formal hosting gig—had its share of high and lows. Jon Hamm finally winning Best Actor in a Drama for his layered performance in AMC’s “Mad Men”: high point. The endless string of wins for limited series “Olive Kitteridge”: low point, solely for the repetition and lack of recognition.
Taraji P. Henson’s tearful glee over Regina King’s win and speech for Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie: high point. Taraji P. Henson scowling after “Empire” co-star kissed her on the cheek: confusing point.
The incredibly spoilery montage honoring series finales: supremely low point. “Sons Of Anarchy” is on my binge-watch list, man! Uzo Aduba’s tearful speech for her second-consecutive win for Best Supporting Actress In A Drama in “Orange Is The New Black”: high point
"Parks and Recreation's" Amy Poehler losing her 16th Emmy nomination: depressingly low point.
But Davis’ deserving win was downright meteoric. She used her Best Actress moment not to rattle off an endless list of names or take videos with her cell phone, but to make a bold statement about the awaiting talent yet lack of opportunities for Black people in Hollywood, and to uplift her colleagues and fellow nominees. Davis began her speech by quoting American hero and activist Harriet Tubman (Davis is will product and star in an HBO biopic about Tubman's life, Variety.com reports): "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. I can't seem to get there now. I can’t seem to get over that line."
The moment was triumphant, powerful, and left me dizzy with awe. It resonated as a glorious coronation for one of the best actresses of this generation. I’ve been pretending to win an Emmy for decades, and this is the first time the Best Actress winner looked like me.
God bless the queen!
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Photo Credit: eonline.com
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