“In a historic win tonight, the law professor is firmly in charge of the TV class. For her role in ABC’s freshman How To Get Away With Murder, Viola Davis has become the first African-American to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama. Having already won a SAG Award for her performance as defense lawyer and university law prof Annalise Keating on the Shonda Rhimes series created by Peter Nowalk, Davis previously had been nominated for a Golden Globe for the role.
“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone is opportunity,” said an emotional Davis as she thanked Rhimes, Oscar winner Halle Berry plus fellow nominee Taraji P. Henson of Empire, among others.
Tonight’s telecast earlier saw wins by Orange Is The New Black‘s Uzo Aduba in the Supporting Actress Drama category and American Crime‘s Regina King as Supporting Actress in a Limited Series Or Movie — a record for diversity in the top categories.
The win for the two-time Oscar-nominated Davis comes just days before HTGAWM begins its second season on ABC on Thursday nights along with fellow Shondaland shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.
Among the other nominees in the category in the 67th Emmys were multiple past winner Claire Danes of Homeland and two-time-before nominee Robin Wright of House Of Cards. Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss and Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, who won the Critics’ Choice award in 2013 and finally got an Emmy nomination this year, were also in the category.”