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The 10 Best Emmy Moments for Women Last Night

The 10 Best Emmy Moments for Women Last Night

The Emmys shed its reputation for staid predictability last night — at least for this year — with Viola Davis’ historic win and recognition for fresh, even cutting-edge series and movies like “Veep,” “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Bessie” and “Transparent.” And it was a great night for women, but especially women of color, older actresses and funny ladies. 

Here are the 10 best Emmy moments for women at the 2015 Emmys: 

1. Viola Davis becomes the first African-American winner in the Best Actress in a Drama category. “The only thing that separates women of color from everyone else is opportunity,” the “How to Get Away With Murder” actress said in an acceptance speech that quoted Harriet Tubman. “You cannot win an Emmy for a role that isn’t there.” She then thanked “people who 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.” Even more wonderfully, Davis was hardly the only black female winner of the night; she was also joined by Uzo Aduba, Regina King, and “Bessie” writer-director Dee Rees. 

2. It was a wonderful night for older women, too.
Here are all the actresses over 40 who won an Emmy last night: Viola Davis, Frances McDormand, Allison Janney, Margo Martindale, Jane Lynch and Regina King. Queen Latifah didn’t win, but “Bessie” did for Best TV Movie. At 34, Uzo Aduba was the youngest female acting winner of the night.  

3. And it was a great night for women in comedy. 
“Veep” and Julia Louis-Dreyfus took home the Best Comedy and Best Actress in a Comedy trophies, respectively, and “Inside Amy Schumer” won Best Variety Sketch Series. Schumer said of her unabashedly feminist show, “This show fights for what we believe in.”

4. The woman-directed, woman-written, women-produced and woman-starring “Olive Kitteridge” swept the miniseries categories. The four-hour HBO special won eight Emmys, including those for Best Limited Series, Lead Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Lead Actor (Richard Jenkins), Best Supporting Actor (Bill Murray), Best Writing (Jane Anderson), Best Directing (Lisa Cholodenko). That it’s a project spear-headed by a trio of over-50 women — McDormand, Cholodenko and Anderson — is yet another reminder of how much we stand to lose when we let sexism and ageism rule in Hollywood. “Olive Kitteridge” was executive producer McDormand’s long-time passion project, and the Oscar-winning actress is now reportedly shopping around a sequel

5. 
“Bessie” won Best TV Movie. Dee Rees’ biopic of blues legend Bessie Smith (played by Queen Latifah, who was nominated alongside co-star Mo’Nique) fared less well last night, but its prizes, including three technical awards, are all immensely deserved. 

6. Sisterhood is powerful.
There’s always a lot of talk about women needing to support each other, but we got to see sisterhood in action when Taraji P. Henson hugged Regina King for her Supporting Actress win for “American Crime” and when Amy Schumer and Amy Poehler came on stage together and bantered their asses off. 


via GIPHY


via GIPHY

7. Host Andy Samberg made fun of industry sexism. There was the lingering influence of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s barbed wit at the Globes in Samberg’s MC patter. “The wage gap between men and women hired in Hollywood is still an issue,” he said in his opening monologue. “Wait, sorry, I misread that. The age gap between men and women hired in Hollywood is still an issue. Wait, I’m sorry I misread again. It’s both, still both.” Later, he skewered that dumb canard about women not being funny by declaring, “Amy Schumer is really, really funny. You know, for a person.”

8. Allison Janney won her record-making seventh Emmy.
The “Mom” co-star is now tied with Mary Tyler Moore and Ed Asner for the second-highest number of Emmy wins. Only Cloris Leachman has won more. 

9. Jill Soloway brought attention to the trans community’s struggles. 
During her acceptance speech for a directing trophy, the “Transparent” creator thanked her “moppa” for inspiring the show and reminded everyone watching that trans people can still be legally discriminated against in more than 30 states. “We don’t have a trans tipping point,” she said of the headlines we’ve been seeing recently. “We have a trans civil rights problem.”

10. Julia Louis-Dreyfus reminds us how important — and difficult — political satire is becoming. 
“What an honor it is for you to honor me,” said the “Veep” star, quoting her show. Except she wasn’t: “No, wait, no, I’m so sorry, Donald Trump said that. It’s getting trickier and trickier to satirize his stuff.”

Here are last night’s female winners: 

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

“Veep” (WINNER)
“Louie”
“Modern Family”
“Parks and Recreation”
“Silicon Valley”
“Transparent”
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

LIMITED SERIES

“Olive Kitteridge” (WINNER)
“American Crime”
“American Horror Story: Freak Show”
“The Honorable Woman”
“Wolf Hall”

VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

“Inside Amy Schumer” (WINNER)
“Drunk History”
“Key & Peele”
“Portlandia”
“Saturday Night Live”

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA

Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder” (WINNER)
Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (WINNER)
Lisa Kudrow, “The Comeback”
Lily Tomlin, “Grace And Frankie”
Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Amy Poehler, “Parks And Recreation”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA

Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is The New Black” (WINNER)
Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”
Lena Headey, “Game Of Thrones”
Emilia Clarke, “Game Of Thrones”
Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY

Allison Janney, “Mom” (WINNER)
Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”
Niecy Nash, “Getting On”
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
Kate McKinnon “Saturday Night Live”
Gaby Hoffmann, “Transparent”
Jane Krakowski, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”

LEAD ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Frances McDormand, “Olive Kitteridge” (WINNER)
Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story”
Queen Latifah, “Bessie”
Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Honorable Woman”
Emma Thompson, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Regina King, “American Crime” (WINNER)
Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Angela Bassett, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Mo’Nique, “Bessie”
Zoe Kazan, “Olive Kitteridge”

GUEST ACTRESS, DRAMA

Margo Martindale, “The Americans” (WINNER)
Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones”
Rachel Brosnahan, “House Of Cards”
Cicely Tyson, “How To Get Away With Murder”
Allison Janney, “Masters Of Sex”
Khandi Alexander, “Scandal”

GUEST ACTRESS, COMEDY

Joan Cusack, “Shameless” (WINNER)
Christine Baranski, “The Big Bang Theory”
Gaby Hoffmann, “Girls”
Pamela Adlon, “Louie”
Elizabeth Banks, “Modern Family”
Tina Fey, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

WRITING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL

Jane Anderson for “Olive Kitteridge” from HBO, HBO Miniseries in association with Playtone (WINNER)

John Ridley for American Crime, “Episode One” from ABC and ABC Studios

Dee Rees, Christopher Cleveland, Bettina Gilois and Horton Foote for “Bessie” from HBO, HBO Films in association with Flavor Unit Entertainment and the Zanuck Company

Stephen Merchant, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg for “Hello Ladies: The Movie” from HBO, HBO Entertainment in association with Four Eyes Entertainment, Quantity Entertainment and ABC Studios

Hugo Blick for “The Honorable Woman” from SundanceTV, Drama Republic and Eight Rooks Productions for BBC TWO, co-produced by SundanceTV

Peter Straughan for “Wolf Hall” from PBS, A Playground Entertainment and Company Pictures Production for BBC and MASTERPIECE in association with BBC Worldwide, Altus Media and Prescience

DIRECTING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL

Lisa Cholodenko for “Olive Kitteridge” from HBO, HBO Miniseries in association with Playtone (WINNER)

Ryan Murphy for “American Horror Story: Freak Show” from Monsters Among Us, FX Networks and 20th Century Fox

Dee Rees for “Bessie” from HBO, HBO Films in association with Flavor Unit Entertainment and the Zanuck Company

Hugo Blick for “The Honorable Woman” from SundanceTV, Drama Republic and Eight Rooks Productions for BBC TWO, co-produced by SundanceTV

Uli Edel for “Houdini” from HISTORY, Lionsgate Television and A+E Studios for History

Tom Shankland for “The Missing” from Starz, New Pictures & Company Pictures in association with Two Brothers Pictures, Playground Entertainment & the BBC

Peter Kosminsky for “Wolf Hall” from PBS, A Playground Entertainment and Company Pictures Production for BBC and MASTERPIECE in association with BBC Worldwide, Altus Media and Prescience

DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES

Jill Soloway for Transparent, “Best New Girl” from Amazon Instant Video and Amazon Studios (WINNER)

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller for The Last Man On Earth, “Alive In Tucson” (Pilot) from FOX and 20th Century Fox Television

Louis C.K. for Louie, “Sleepover” from FX Networks, Pig Newton, Inc. and FX Productions

Mike Judge for Silicon Valley, “Sand Hill Shuffle” from HBO, HBO Entertainment in association with Judgemental Films, Alec Berg, Altschuler Krinsky Works and 3 Arts Entertainment

Armando Iannucci for Veep, “Testimony” from HBO, HBO Entertainment in association with Dundee Productions

TELEVISION MOVIE

“Bessie” (WINNER)
“Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain, Poirot’s Last Case”
“Grace of Monaco”
“Hello Ladies: The Movie”
“Killing Jesus”
“Nightingale”

HOST, REALITY OR REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM

Jane Lynch, “Hollywood Game Night” (WINNER)
Tom Bergeron, “Dancing with the Stars”
Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, “Project Runway”
Cat Deeley, “So You Think You Can Dance”
Anthony Bourdain, “The Taste”

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