Emmys 2021: 4 of the biggest wins for women at last night’s awards ceremony

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Lauren Geall
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Olivia Colman with her Emmy award

From Olivia Colman’s acceptance speech to Michaela Coel’s historic win, here are four unmissable moments from last night’s Emmy Awards.

After last year’s ceremony took place almost exclusively via live stream due to coronavirus restrictions, this year’s Emmy Awards saw the biggest and brightest stars of TV get together in Los Angeles to celebrate once more.

With so many women of colour on the nominations list, there was hope that this year’s winners would reflect the diversity of talent finally being displayed onscreen. 

But despite this, every single one of the acting awards went to white performers – a fact which is especially disappointing in light of the fact that last year’s ceremony saw a record number of Black actors win awards.

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Of course, there were some deserving winners last night, many of whom delivered some brilliant acceptance speeches. And there were also historic moments for women outside of the acting categories, which is definitely worth celebrating.

So, without further ado, here’s our pick of the top four unmissable moments from last night’s star-studded event.  

  • 1. Michaela Coel’s history-making win

    Michaela Coel accepting her Emmy
    Michaela Coel made history with her win.

    As well as taking home her first Emmy, Michaela Coel made history last night by becoming the first Black woman to win an Emmy for limited series writing for I May Destroy You.

    Taking to the stage to accept the award, Coel delivered yet another incredible acceptance speech, urging other writers to “write the tale that scares you”.

    “I dare you – in a world that entices us to browse through the lives of others to help us better determine how we feel about ourselves, and to in turn feel the need to be constantly visible, for visibility these days seems to somehow equate to success – do not be afraid to disappear from it, from us for a while, and see what comes to you in the silence,” she said.

    “I dedicate this story to every single survivor of sexual assault.” 

  • 2. Olivia Colman being... Olivia Colman

    Olivia Colman with her Emmy award
    Olivia Colman grew tearful during her speech.

    Olivia Colman is known for delivering rather iconic acceptance speeches – and her appearance during last night’s ceremony was no different.

    After taking home the award for best drama actress for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, Colman was classically flustered as she said the win was “an extraordinary end” to her time on the show and paid tribute to her father.

    “I’d have put money on that not happening!” she said as she accepted the award. “I’m going to be very quick as I’m very teary. I wish my dad was here to see this. I lost my daddy during Covid, and he would have loved all this.”

    However, before she ended her speech, she had one more thing to add: “Michaela Coel, fuck yeah!” 

  • 3. Kate Winslet’s acceptance speech

    Kate Winslet with her Emmy award
    Kate Winslet won her second-ever Emmy for Mare Of Easttown.

    After taking home her second-ever Emmy award for outstanding actress in a limited series for her role as Mare Sheehan in Mare Of Easttown, Kate Winslet used her acceptance speech to pay tribute to her fellow nominees and praise the character created by the show’s creator Brad Ingelsby.

    “I want to acknowledge my fellow nominees in this decade that has to be about women having each other’s backs,” she said. “I support you, I salute, I’m proud of all of you.”

    She continued: “Brad Ingelsby, this is all you: you created a middle-aged, imperfect, flawed mother and made us all feel validated.” 

  • 4. Female directors reigning supreme

    Lucia Aniello accepting her award at the 2021 Emmys
    Lucia Aniello took home two awards for her work on Hacks.

    Last night’s ceremony saw two female directors take home the awards for comedy and drama series directing in the same year for the first time.

    Lucia Aniello not only won for directing the pilot episode of HBO’s Hacks, but also took home an award for comedy series writing on the show, too.

    And Jessica Hobbs won for directing the episode War in the fourth season of The Crown, which depicts the dysfunction within Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage.  

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.