Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

"The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else, is opportunity": Watch Viola Davis' powerful Emmys acceptance speech

GettyImages-489400678.jpg

Last night, actress Viola Davis made history by becoming the first ever African-American woman to win the Emmy Award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama.

The star won the award for her role in How to Get Away With Murder and gave an emotional acceptance speech at the 67th Emmy Awards:

 

Viola accepting her award

Viola accepting her award

"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," she told a packed auditorium in LA. "That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s.

"And let me tell you something, the only thing that separates women of colour 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 – 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 women, to be black.

And to the to the Taraji P. Hensons, the Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharie​s, the Meagan Goods, to Gabrielle Union, thank you for taking us over that line."

Watch the actress' stirring speech, below.

Related

barbie and ken dolls.jpg

Playing with Barbies encourages girls to be passive

ashghero.jpg

Fashion Week embraces size diversity

isis1.PNG

“I look like an engineer” hashtag sweeps Twitter

infog.jpg

See how supermodels have evolved since the 1940s

hero.jpg

'Beauty doesn't just come in shade pale'

1537946_1442095876112071_8006511130731520455_o.jpg

New campaign celebrates what women really look like underneath

opener_rt.jpg

Sofia Vergara speaks exclusively to Stylist

Iman.jpg

Iman on self-esteem, beauty diversity and looking after yourself

GettyImages-488161804.jpg

Model with Down's syndrome wows New York Fashion Week

Comments

More

How it feels to be a woman in America right now

"There is a sense of impending doom"

02 Dec 2016

Viewers slam Eamonn Holmes for ‘sexist’ treatment of GBBO's Candice

“He’s making me so uncomfortable – poor Candice”

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

The 12 surprising health benefits of mulled wine

Mulled wine, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways…

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Pensioner, 89, offered bar job after "stop me dying from boredom" ad

We love a story with a happy ending

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Bake Off fans, you can now apply to be on Channel 4’s GBBO

On your marks, get set, baaaaake…

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Inventor of new £5 note brands vegans “stupid” over animal fat debate

"It's stupid. It's absolutely stupid."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
02 Dec 2016

Baby it’s Cold Outside has been given a feminist makeover

The troubling Christmas song has been transformed into an epic consent anthem

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

You’d be more productive if you could work from a café, study finds

Tell your boss.

by Moya Crockett
02 Dec 2016

The best low-alcohol swaps for your favourite beers, wines and spirits

Time for a booze-not-booze?

by Amy Swales
01 Dec 2016

Dorchester issues “disgusting” list of beauty demands to female staff

Women have been told to shave their legs and wear full make-up

by Sarah Biddlecombe
01 Dec 2016