At the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, the star of ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder became the first black woman to win the award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. Davis beat Homeland‘s Claire Danes, Empire‘s Taraji P. Henson, Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany, Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss and House of Cards‘ Robin Wright. In her acceptance speech, Viola stated,”the only thing that separates women of color from everyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”
NPR’s Eric Deggans also wrote earlier this week that a win by either Davis or Henson would be a first “basically because black women haven’t had many starring roles in TV dramas until recently.”
Viola received an outpouring amount of support for her win from fans and celebs including Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Kerry Washington and Shonda Rhimes.