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King beat out fellow nominees Jessica Biel (The Sinner), Laura Dern (The Tale), Michelle Dockery (Godless), Edie Falco (Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders) and Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Cult).
Leslie Jones and RuPaul Charles presented the award. When she announced King as the winner, Jones excitedly screamed from the stage multiple times.
Upon accepting her Emmy, King said she wasn’t really expecting the win, but expressed thanks to Netflix, her cast and crew, and more. “This is amazing, I want to curse right now,” she joked. And in a callback to the award show’s monologue in which co-host Michael Che said that his mother didn’t want to watch awards shows because people didn’t “thank Jesus enough,” the actress said, “Thank you, Jesus — Michael Che.”
She further expressed her surprise backstage, telling reporters, “I’m going to be 100 percent honest. In addition to the fact that I thought that the performances in this category were so amazing, I do feel a lot of times where it’s just so divided as a country and things are always looked at as black and white — and I am guilty of that as well — and I think that played a big part of my assumption that the chances of me winning were small.”
She added, “This is an example of us thinking more globally and not thinking in a box, and this was a moment for me to recognize that sometimes when I think I’m not, I am thinking in a box myself. It was a surprise.”
This is the third Emmy win for King, who previously took home trophies for her roles on American Crime.
On Seven Seconds, which was canceled in April, King played a grieving mother who seeks justice and answers for her son after he is the victim of a hit-and-run involving two white cops.
The 70th annual Primetime Emmy Awards aired live on NBC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Saturday Night Live‘s Che and Colin Jost co-hosted.
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