All together now: finally!
In all the craziness that comes with Emmy nominations, one major surprise came out of the announcement this morning that has us feeling all kinds of relieved…and totally proud. Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson, both nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress In a Drama Series for How To Get Away With Murder and Empire, respectively, have officially made history. How?
This is the first time that two black women have earned an Emmy nomination in the same year in this category. It’s about time!
In fact, before Kerry Washington‘s 2013 nomination for Scandal, the last black woman to be nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series was Cicely Tyson in 1995. Which is ridiculous. (But let’s also give some props to Tyson for bringing it all full circle by locking in an Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series nomination for How To Get Away With Murder!)
Now that that glaring mistake on the part of Emmy voters has been remedied, it’s high time to fix another. Get this: a black woman has never won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Ever. And that’s a damn shame.
Everyone hoped that Washington would be the one to make history in that aspect by winning in that category in 2013 or 2014 for Scandal, but we all had to settle for her just getting nominated. Looking back on the incredible, record-breaking and downright amazing work both Davis and Henson did in the freshman seasons of How To Get Away With Murder and Empire, we’re going on record stating that this is the year that the Emmys finally recognize that diversity is not just a good thing, but it’s actually in fact the norm.
So far, Davis is the only one celebrating on Twitter. “In great company with my sister @TherealTaraji! Also, @NiecyNash! Congrats to all on the outstanding work!” she tweeted. “Ms.@IAmCicelyTyson!! You never cease to amaze me and I’m so excited for your Emmy nom! Rocked it! #HTGAWM. Such a wonderfully diverse list of talented artists recognized this year. So proud. Again, congrats to everyone!!! #Emmys”
But we have a feeling that Henson, as outspoken in real life as her onscreen alter ego Cookie, won’t stay quiet for long.
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