Emmys 2015: Viola Davis Makes History As The First African American To Win Outstanding Leading Actress

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  • The 'How To Get Away With Murder' star gave an impassioned acceptance speech at the Emmys

    Viola Davis gave an impassioned speech when accepting her Emmy for Outstanding Leading Actress, stating that “the only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity”.

    The 50-year-old actress made history last night as the first African American woman to take home the award and gave shout outs to her fellow black actresses in an incredibly moving acceptance speech.

    ‘You cannot win an Emmy for roles that simply aren’t there,’ the ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ star explained to the audience in Los Angeles:

    ‘So here’s to all the writers…People who have redefined what it is to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman – to be black.’

    The award-winner began her speech quoting African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman, as an emotional Kerry Washington wept and Taraji P Henson gave her a standing ovation:

    ‘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.’  

    ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ is the latest slice of Shondaland i.e. written by the queen of TV drama, Shonda Rhimes who is the genius behind ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Scandal’.

    Viola was up against Taraji for her role in ‘Empire’ as well as Claire Danes, Robin Wright, Elisabeth Moss and Tatiana Maslany.

    The award was Viola’s first Emmy, having been nominated for an Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe in 2011 for her role in ‘The Help’.

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