Soap Star Nancy Lee Grahn Apologizes for "Racist" Viola Davis Tweets, Continues to Defend Herself

Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/AP Images
Nancy Lee Grahn

In one of her initial comments about Davis' win, Grahn tweeted, "I think she's the bees knees but she's elite of TV performers. Brilliant as she is. She has never been discriminated against."

General Hospital actress Nancy Lee Grahn wasn't a fan of Viola Davis' speech after the How to Get Away With Murder star's historic Emmy win, criticizing her on Twitter Sunday night. But Grahn apologized after fellow Twitter users slammed her remarks, with many saying her comments were racist.

After Davis won her Emmy — the first ever for an African-American woman in the lead actress in a drama category — Grahn initially tweeted, "I wish I loved #ViolaDavis Speech, but I thought she should have let @shondarhimes write it." In a follow-up tweet, Grahn wrote "Viola Davis winning lead actress Emmy's historic. My upset is acting awards dont fix racial injustice. As an actor I see how irrelevant we r."

As the Twitterverse lit up with rage over the tweets, Grahn at first was defensive, tweeting to an individual who had criticized her: "Try being any woman in TV. Wish she'd brought every woman in the picture. I wish I'd opportunity to play roles she has gets." She responded to another of her critics, saying of Davis, "I think she's the bees knees but she's elite of TV performers. Brilliant as she is. She has never been discriminated against."

But Grahn then began to back off her initial comments, tweeting that she had been "schooled" and began a thread of apologies that continued well into the night. “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." She also wrote: "3am.Tried 2 respond 2 u with love as I should, Gotten mostly condescension & vitriol.Tomorrow, new day. Wont begin it with anything but love." The actress then went on to issue many individual apologies to people who tweeted outrage at her initial comments.

But an hour later, Grahn seemed to be feeling defensive again, tweeting a series of responses to @MelioraEsq (whose tweets are protected): "I honestly didnt even care that much I was cooking and heard it and went oh lord ur a great actress just accept it and I heard," Grahn said, "and i heard harriet yTubman and I thought Its a f—king emmy for gods sake. She wasnt digging thru a tunnel."

"Ive spent my life defending their right to be respected," she wrote, "and after being on my knees have no firgiveness. Im f—ing trending"

comments powered by Disqus