On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Taraji P. Henson made a guest appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, where the Empire actress shared her thoughts on Viola Davis‘ Emmy win during this year’s award ceremony.
Henson stated, “I think the universe is happy. Viola deserved that award. And honestly it would have felt weird if I had gotten it over her. She’s been doing it longer.”
[Related: Viola Davis and Regina King Make Emmy History]
Davis became the first African American to ever win an Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama on Sept. 20, during the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California. In addition to Davis breaking history, Game of Thrones also set a new record, receiving 12 awards.
In the past, Davis had received two Tony Award’s, for Best Featured Actress in a Play, in both 2001 and 2010. In 2012, she was listed as 100 of the Most Influential People in the World by Time. Now, she’s changing the course of history for black women in film, through her role as a law professor in ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder. The show has been recognized widely and praised, especially for Davis’ role, which previously awarded her with a SAG Award and the opportunity to be nominated for a Golden Globe award.
So what was Henson’s reaction to the win?
“You’ve just got to give respect and know when your time is,” Henson revealed to host Ellen DeGeneres. Henson was also a nominee for the award, but instead of feeling defeated, the actress was ecstatic for her win, being a power move for all black women, and paving the way for future African Americans in film. Henson closed out by saying, “It was bittersweet,” about Davis bringing home the award, “I was like, it’s 2015 and we have a black president and no black woman has ever won. Like this is weird. So when I went into it and I knew I was being nominated alongside Viola, I just thought to myself, ‘God, just please give it to one of us so we will never have to say that again.’ Let’s just break this barrier down and keep on pushing.”
Check out the inspiring interview below.
[Below: Watch Video]
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