Viola Davis has earned a spot in entertainment history with her Primetime Emmy win.
The 50-year-old won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards for her role as Professor Annalise Keating in ABC network’s TV show How to Get Away with Murder.
And while accepting her trophy, Viola gave a riveting speech about equality.
“The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity,” she noted.
Viola is the first black woman in history to have won an Emmy in this category. The Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series contenders this year also included Taraji P. Henson of Empire, Homeland’s Claire Danes, Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black, Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss and Robin Wright from House of Cards. The entire category was historic from the outset, as Taraji and Viola were the first two black women to have been nominated at the Emmys in this fashion.
This wasn’t the only history-making moment of the evening, as host Andy Samberg took viewers on a wild ride through multiple surprises during the ceremony.
Transgender issues also came to the forefront, as creator Jill Soloway’s Amazon Studios series Transparent was also a big winner on the night. Transparent actor Jeffrey Tambor was dubbed Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Jill picked up a trophy in the Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series category.
Jeffrey dedicated his Emmy to everyone who has ever suffered for their identity.
“I had a teacher who used to say, ‘When you act, you have to act as if your life depends on it.’ Now I’ve been given the opportunity to act because people’s lives depend on it,” he said, while on the verge of tears. “Not to repeat myself but to specifically repeat myself, I’d like to dedicate my performance and this award to the transgender community.”
The 67th Primetime Emmy Awards were held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Winners at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2015:
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series: Bradley Whitford, Transparent
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series: Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series: Margo Martindale, The Americans
Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program: Jane Lynch, Hollywood Game Night
Outstanding Structured Reality Program: Shark Tank
Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program: Deadliest Catch
Outstanding Television Movie: Bessie
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series: Allison Janney, Mom
Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series: Veep
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series, Tony Hale, Veep
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Jill Soloway, Transparent
Outstanding Actor In a Comedy Series: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Outstanding Actress In A Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Outstanding Reality Competition: The Voice
Outstanding Writing In A Limited Series/Movie: Jane Anderson, Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series/Movie: Regina King, American Crime
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Limited Series/Movie: Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series/Movie: Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Limited Series: Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series: Inside Amy Schumer
Outstanding Variety Talk Series: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Outstanding Writing In A Drama Series: Game of Thrones
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series: Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Outstanding Directing In A Drama Series: David Nutter, Game of Thrones
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Outstanding Actor In A Drama Series: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Outstanding Actress In A Drama Series: Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Outstanding Comedy Series: Veep
Outstanding Drama Series: Game of Thrones