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Regina King urged viewers to vote and paid tribute to former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg while accepting the Emmy Award for lead actress in a limited series or movie for her role in Watchmen on Sunday.
The actor wore a shirt featuring Breonna Taylor, who died at the hands of police in March 2020 after officers entered her home with a no-knock search warrant, while accepting her prize at her home. “Wow, oh, wow. This is so freaking weird. My sisters, Kerry Washington, Octavia Spencer, Shira Haas, Cate Blanchett, it’s an honor to be in this category with you,” King said. “I truly love being a thespian, thank you Television Academy for choosing me to represent the thespian community.” Uzo Aduba, who won the Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie for her role on Hulu’s Mrs. America, also wore a tee shirt with Taylor’s name while accepting her prize.
King thanked show creator David Lindelof for his “brilliant mind” and “for choosing all of us to join this journey as you stepped outside of your comfort zone and led us on a journey where we could bring truth to power” and then, after a few more thank-yous, urged viewers to do their civic duty.
“Gotta vote,” she said. “I would be remiss not to mention that [after] being part of a prescient show like Watchmen. Have voting plan, go to Ballotpedia.com,” she said, to find out who is running in each municipal election. She wrapped up her speech, “Rest in power, RBG.”
This is King’s fourth Emmy win: She previously won two for best supporting actress in a limited series or a movie (American Crime, 2015 and 2016) and one for best lead actress in a limited series or movie (2018’s Seven Seconds).
Backstage, King described her decision to wear a shirt commemorating Breonna Taylor’s memory: “The cops still haven’t been held accountable. She represents decades, hundreds of years of violence against Black bodies,” King said. “The stories that we were exploring, that we were presenting, that we were holding a mirror up to in Watchmen, it felt appropriate to represent with Breonna Taylor.”
Ultimately, Watchmen won 10 Creative Arts Emmys and Emmys in 2020. One category later, when Watchmen won outstanding writing for a limited series, movie or dramatic special, show creator Lindelof accepted the laurel while wearing a shirt that said “Remember Tulsa ’21.” (A major character in the HBO show is a survivor of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre.) Later, Lindelof dedicated the show’s limited series win to “the victims and survivors of the Tulsa massacre of 1921.” He added, “The fires that destroyed Black Wall Street still burn today. The only way to put them out is if we all fight them out together.”
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the 72nd annual Emmy Awards broadcast live on ABC at 5 p.m. PT.
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