Viola Davis brought tears to several audience members’ eyes at the 2015 Emmy Awards in her acceptance speech for winning Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
Davis became the first black female to lay claim to the award, the Huffington Post reported. In accepting the honor, Viola recalled words that Harriet Tubman penned in the 1800’s.
“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.”
Davis, who also has won an Oscar for her previous work, went on to highlight the struggles that black artists like Viola face still today in the television industry.
“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.”
Viola also went on to congratulate artists who were also nominated for the award as well as other females working in the industry today.
“And to the Tarija P. Henson’s, the Kerry Washington’s, the Halle Berry’s, the Nicole Beharie’s, the Meagan Good’s, to Gabrielle Union, thank you for taking us over that line. Thank you.”
Viola also thanked Shonda Rhimes in her speech. Rhimes is the show creator for How To Get Away With Murder, the show Davis leads as Annalise Keating. The show returns to TV this week for the start of its second season on ABC.
Davis was not the only black female to win Emmys on the night as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series went to Uzo Aduba for her role in Orange Is The New Black, and Regina King won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her work on American Crime.
The reaction in the audience to the speech Viola Davis gave was tearful, especially the one from Kerry Washington. On Twitter, several actresses paid homage to Viola Davis as she had done to them.
What did you think of the acceptance speech Viola Davis gave? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Image by Mark Davis/Getty Images]