Television's biggest night just came to a close, and what a night it was for Black actresses. From Viola Davis's history-making win to Regina King's upset in a category with heavyweight competition, the awards certainly celebrated diversity this year, just as television is starting to.
The biggest story of the night, of course, was Davis's win for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (How to Get Away With Murder), making her the first Black woman in history to win the category. Nobody appeared more proud than Taraji P. Henson, who lost out on the award herself. Regardless, Henson was the first person to leap to her feet and offer Davis a standing ovation as she accepted the award.
"The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity," Davis said in her acceptance speech. "You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there," she added, before thanking all the show-runners, executives and other actresses "who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman...to be Black."
Orange Is the New Black's Uzo Aduba accepted the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Crazy Eyes on the hit Netflix show, the same role for which she won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series last year. Comedy, drama...Uzo clearly brings it all to her role. In her tearful speech, Aduba paid special thanks to her family, "who have stood beside me my entire life."
Regina King was also honored with Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Movie or Limited Series for her role as a Muslim woman fighting to free her brother from incarceration in American Crime.
The Emmys also treated us to a moving comeback by Tracy Morgan, who took the stage to present the night's final award, Outstanding Drama Series, to Game of Thrones. "I miss you guys so much," he told the crowd of his friends and colleagues. "Thanks to my amazing doctors, the support of my family, my beautiful new wife, I'm here. Standing on my own two feet. God bless all of you for your love, prayers and positive thoughts over the past 15 months." Once the emotional part of his speech was out of the way, Morgan showed off a side of himself we haven't seen in over a year — the comedian. "I suffered a traumatic brain injury that put me in a coma for eight days," he began somberly. "When I finally regained consciousness, I was ecstatic to learn that I wasn't the one who messed up."
For a complete list of winners at the 2015 Emmy Awards, click here. And watch Uzo Aduba talk about diversity in television in our exclusive interview, below:
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