‘General Hospital’ Star Nancy Lee Grahn Faces Intense Backlash Over Viola Davis Speech Criticism

Many people are applauding How to Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis for her Emmy Awards acceptance speech Sunday night, but General Hospital star Nancy Lee Grahn is under fire for her stance on the speech. Grahn spent hours after the initial tweet trying to dampen the flames that arose, but many would say she wasn’t necessarily very successful. What’s the scoop?

Viola Davis made history Sunday night as the first black actress to win in the Best Lead Actress in a Drama category. During her speech, Davis quoted Harriet Tubman and talked about how what separates women of color from others is opportunity. She added that one can’t win an Emmy if the quality roles don’t exist.

Davis’ remarks are being widely applauded, but General Hospital star Nancy Lee Grahn took a different stance. As BuzzFeed notes, Grahn’s original tweets have now been deleted, but she set off a firestorm with her initial posts.

Grahn tweeted, “Im a f**king actress for 40 yrs. None of us get respect or opportunity we deserve. Emms not venue 4 racial opportunity. ALL women belittled.”

The General Hospital star went on to tweet in response to one follower, “I think she’s the bees knees but … she has never been discriminated against.”

It didn’t take long for people to push back against Grahn, and they pushed back hard. She’s apologized and posted quite a bit since, but some of her tweets have taken a very defensive tone. The General Hospital star, who has played the character of Alexis Davis for the past 20 years, says that she didn’t mean to diminish Viola Davis’ accomplishment.

Grahn went on to tweet that she is a women’s advocate and she wants equality for all women, not just those in the acting business. She admits her early tweet was badly phrased and she did say that she needed to check her own privilege. Nancy admits she learned a lot from the response her tweet garnered, though there are things she still doesn’t understand.

The General Hospital actress stayed up late into the night to post on Twitter, responding to those who tweeted at her over the Davis comments. Multiple times, Grahn noted that she doesn’t have a public relations team, she does it all on her own. At this point, however, some would say this might be a good time for her to bring in some professional support.

Though Grahn apologized more than once, she also got extremely defensive in some posts and more than one tweet would seem to indicate that she still may have a lot of learning to do on this front. While she does have a long history of advocating for others, tweeting that Viola Davis has never encountered discrimination and later saying that the backlash was unfair definitely did her no favors.

Nancy Lee Grahn clearly thinks that the reaction toward her Viola Davis tweets was unfair and out of control, at one point tweeting, “the meanness of these ppl tonight. I feel betrayed by ppl I would’ve marched for.” The General Hospital actress spent hours overnight tweeting with others about the incident, saying that she’s heartbroken that people now see her as a racist.

General Hospital actress Nancy Lee Grahn may well feel sorry for offending people with her initial tweets regarding Viola Davis’ Emmys speech. However, despite the many, many tweets she posted in the following hours, a lot of people clearly felt that she wasn’t hearing the message people were trying to share.

Was the backlash toward Nancy Lee Grahn over her Viola Davis tweets too harsh? Will the General Hospital actress take a step back and learn the message people were really trying to convey to her in the aftermath of the initial posts?

[Photos by Toby Canham / Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images]