By: Amber Murray
On September 20, 2015, history was made when Viola Davis won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for in the series How To Get Away With Murder. Even though, Davis is not the first to win an Emmy or be nominated for an Emmy award but being the first African America to win in this category definitely made history. Here is a piece of the transcript of Davis acceptance speech from The New York Times,“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.’
That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s. And let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.”
The speech she made was indeed inspirational and shows how much media has change over time. Some people might not see it that way. Nancy Lee Grahn,an actress on General Hospital, may some negative comments about Viola Davis acceptance speech. Grahn criticized Davis speech and felt that it was an opportunity to talk about race.
Here are a few of the tweets Grahn posted on her Twitter account: ‘I wish I loved #ViolaDavis Speech, but I thought she should have let @shondarhimes write it. #Emmys’, Viola Davis winning lead actress Emmy’s historic. My upset is acting awards dont fix racial injustice. As an actor I see how irrelevant we r, I never mean to diminish her accomplishment. I wish I could get her roles. She is a goddess. I want equality 4 ALL women, not just actors, and a few others. Later she issued an apology tweet, this is apart of the tweet, ‘I apologize for my earlier tweets and now realize I need to check my own privilege. My intention was not to take this historic and important moment from Viola Davis or other women of color but I realize that my intention doesn’t matter here because that is what I ended up doing. I learned a lot tonight and I admit that there are still some things I don’t understand but I am trying to and will let this be a learning experience for me.”
After reading Grahn, I understand that she wants equality for all woman and that Viola Davis is a great actress. I am not knock done Grahn opinion but there is a time and a place to talk about a situation, and taking this issue to social media where everyone can see what you say is not wise. This historical moment meant so much to everyone, women of color especially because seeing a person of color being rewarded for their work it’s relieve to know that society is moving forward. No matter the color of their skin, anyone who wins an Emmy deserves it because they work hard for it. The only way to more forward from this situation is to post positive comments and not to encourage these types of actions. Social media gives people the power to persuade people with140 characters. Be a leader to inspire and follow positive people not to bring down and exclude all human races.