I want to start off by saying, it’s been entirely too long since my last blog post.
Between sickness, hurricanes, work stress, & life in general, I just haven’t had the creative energy to write.
Thankfully, I was inspired by all of the badass acceptance speeches I heard from women at this year’s Emmys. Even though women are still grossly underrepresented in Hollywood, this year’s Emmy awards featured huge wins for women’s stories on and offstage. The remarkable women that created and portrayed the stories in this year’s television shows were given the credit that they were due.
Honestly, most importantly, these stories and these actresses addressed so many important social issues facing the world today.
So apparently, I need to watch The Handmaid’s Tale because it cleaned-up trophy wise. Elizabeth Moss won for her role in THT, while Julia Louis-Dreyfus won for Best Actress in a Comedy for her role in Veep, making her winning-est actor in a single role of all time. I personally was hoping for an Ellie Kemper win for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but holy shit. What a cool accomplishment for Julia Louis-Dreyfus!
Lena Waithe, writer and star in Netflix’s Masters of None, won for Outstanding Writing For a Comedy Series for the “Thanksgiving” episode, making her the first black woman to win in that category. The episode largely centered around Denise’s struggles with getting her family to accept her identity, and she gave a shout out to the “L-G-B-T-Q-I-A community” at the end of her speech:
“I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different—those are our super powers. Every day, when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world. Because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.” My tears were rolling by this point. It was beautiful that Aziz allowed her to have this moment, even if it meant he wasn’t able to speak.
Beyond taking home a big prize for Best Limited Series, it was a huge night for the cast of Big Little Lies, the HBO drama based on the novel by Liane Moriarty. The show was a passion project of Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, who cited their motivations for getting the show made as a means to deliver better roles for women.
Both women starred in and served as executive producers on the show, which placed an intense emphasis on domestic violence and the complex relationships between women.
Kidman won her first Emmy for her portrayal of Celeste Wright, an attorney whose seemingly perfect marriage is laid over a deeply abusive relationship. Kidman was vocal about how difficult the role was for her, and she touched again on the dire importance of continuing to discuss domestic abuse:
“We shined a light on domestic abuse. It is a complicated, insidious disease. It exists far more than we allow ourselves to know. It is filled with shame and secrecy, and by you acknowledging me with this award, it shines a light on it even more.”
In another big win for Big Little Lies, Laura Dern came home with her first Emmy after being nominated six times, and despite the celebrated actress’ illustrious career, she was quick to call out why working on a show that placed such an immense focus on the lives of women was so important to her: “I’ve been acting since I was 11 years old, and I think I’ve worked with maybe 12 women.”
“Thank you to Nicole and Reese’s moms for not only giving us extraordinary women, but really well-read women, because that’s how I’m getting parts. …I feel very proud to be reflecting fierce women and mothers finding their voice.”
This last one isn’t girl power, but it’s just as inspiring. Lastly, honorary shoutout to Sterling K. Brown, who won Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role in The Is Us. He’s the first black actor to win in that category in nearly two decades, and bizarrely, he was cut off mid-speech by the play-off music. As Brown continued to issue his thank-yous over the music that, which as he noted, was louder for him than others, the broadcast promptly cut to commercial.