Viola Davis comments on Nancy Lee Grahn's controversial tweets following her Primetime Leading Actress Emmy speech

Posted Monday, September 28, 2015 12:24:29 PM
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Viola Davis comments on Nancy Lee Grahn's controversial tweets following her Primetime Leading Actress Emmy speech

Primetime Emmy winner Viola Davis hints that she was very aware of Nancy Lee Grahn's (Alexis Davis, General Hospital) insensitive tweets about her historic win and Emmy speech.

Soap operas made national news following this year's Primetime Emmy Awards when, shortly after Leading Actress winner Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder) gave her acceptance speech, General Hospital's Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis) used Twitter to air some very controversial thoughts about the actress' words.

Davis' speech first quoted Harriet Tubman then went on to include, "The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So, here's to all the writers, the awesome people that are Ben Sherwood, Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes. People have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black. And to the Taraji P. Hensons and Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goodes, to Gabrielle Union. Thank you for taking us over that line."

As fans know, Grahn unleashed quite an unpopular opinion after Davis' speech when she stated that the actress (the first African American actress to win the award) has never really experienced discrimination, that no actresses get the respect or opportunity they deserve, and that the Emmys shouldn't be a venue for racial opportunity.

Grahn's messages made national headlines, and apparently, Davis herself caught wind of the daytime star's insensitive comments. New York Times interviewed the Emmy winner about her choice of words and how some have taken issue with what she chose to say. "If there has been any backlash, it's that all people want to feel included in a speech," she said. "I know there has been some backlash with an actress who didn't feel she was included."

When asked directly if Davis was referring to Grahn, the actress answered, "Yes. I don't know that I want to say more about that."

Shortly after posting her initial reaction to Davis' historic Emmy win, Grahn took to Twitter with a public apology. "I never mean[t] to diminish her accomplishment," the GH actress posted after receiving major backlash about her tweets. "I wish I could get her roles. She is a goddess. I want equality 4 ALL women, not just actors.... I apologize 2 anyone who I offended. I'm women advocate since I became one. After reading responses, I hear u and my tweet was badly phrased."

Later, she continued, "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."

What do you think about Davis' comments about her Emmy speech and why she thinks some people took offense? Did you personally take offense to anything she said? Are you surprised Davis caught wind of Grahn's comments? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below, on our message boards, or by submitting Feedback.

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