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Recap: Highs and Lows of the Emmys 2015

Did you check out the Emmys 2015 last night?  Did you HEAR Viola Davis’s powerful speech about diversifying Hollywood?  Madame Davis laid it down.

If you didn’t quite get around to watching, no sweat.  I’ve got you covered with this follow up to my predictions earlier this week.  Not all of my calls came true, but the category that counted the most came out with a powerful win at Sunday night’s Emmy Awards.

Here are some of the best moments of the night:

HIGHS

1. Leading Lady

Davis made Emmy  history after winning for best actress in the drama category for her role as Annalise Keating on ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder. The phenomenal actress looked genuinely surprised when her name was called. She was quickly met by fellow nominee in the same category, Taraji P. Henson—who was absolutely overjoyed for Davis.

“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity,” Davis announced in her moving acceptance speech. “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” Davis went on to thank the writers and creators behind the TGIT lineup Shonda Rhimes (Scandal) and Peter Nowalk (HTGAWM), who she said have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman and to be Black.

She concluded by thanking her Black actress peers such as Henson and Kerry Washington. “Thank you for taking us over that line,” Davis said. Her win was the best moment of the night between the much deserved win for her performance on the hit HTGAWM, making history and her amazing speech.

2. Crazy for Crazy Eyes

The runner up to Davis’ moment, and another highlight of the night, was Uzo Aduba’s second consecutive nomination and win for Outstanding Supporting Actress for Orange Is The New Black—earning one for drama and the other in comedy. She earned a standing ovation from her OITNB cast as she gave an emotional speech thanking show creator Jenji Kohan and everyone involved with the show. “I love you mostly because you let me be me,” Aduba said.

3. Hail to the King

Regina King took home the Emmy for Limited Series supporting actress for American Crime. King’s reaction to the win was definitely one of the most heartfelt of the night, maintaining her “I can’t believe this” face all the up to the microphone. She gave a touching nod to her son (and seatmate for the night) saying “My son Ian, the fact that I get to share this night with you—the best date in the house. Ah man, you make being a mother my greatest accomplishment.”

4. Tracy Morgan Returns

The hilarious comic, who has been understandably off-camera since a tragic accident, returned to the Emmy’s stage “on his own two feet” and with his trademark sly jokes on tap.  It was truly uplifting to see the 30 Rock alum looking and sounding so strong.

LOW

The biggest low of the night was when neither Khandi Alexander nor Cicely Tyson won for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. I was almost positive that one of these ladies were going to get gold for their performances on Scandal and HTGAWM but both lost to Margo Martindale from The Americans. Like Davis and Henson’s category, there was tough competition for Alexander and Tyson.

Other winners of the night included: Reg E. Cathey (House of Cards) for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, who also was nominated last year.

18 black actors received nominations at this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards and even though few won in their categories, Davis sums it up best with her statement that it’s not due to minimal talent that black actors aren’t acknowledged as often as they should, but for the lack in opportunity of the roles they are able to play. Hopefully her win will set a new standard in the upcoming award season.

You can catch this Emmy award-winning leading lady this Thursday in the premiere of HTGAWM on ABC at 10/9c.

YOUR TURN: What did you think of the Emmys? Tell us in the comments below.

Credit: Jessica Wenck

ABOUT JESSICA WENCK

Jessica Wenck is a writer and multimedia journalist who has been featured in publications including Variety.com, The Press Enterprise and ChicagoTalks.org.  She is addicted to coffee and is an entertainment junkie with a specialty in TV and film.  Follow her on Twitter.

  • T. Owens

    Great job with the facts, highlights and details about the Emmy's by Ms. Wenck!! I look forward to more in the near future!!