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Uzo Aduba was awarded the win for best actress in a limited series or movie for her role on Mrs. America during the 72nd annual Primetime Emmys.
During her acceptance speech, Aduba, wearing a shirt with “Breonna Taylor” in big letters, thanked both the woman in her category and the women “who worked across the board” on the Hulu series, including the show’s executive producers, writers and creator.
Aduba thanked the real-life woman she played. “I want to say lastly, thank you to Shirley Chisholm for her championship work for all people who have been forgotten and marginalized, who she represented,” Aduba said before standing up and racing off the screen to celebrate her win with her mother.
After accepting her award, Aduba told press how she and her mother celebrated. “Early tonight she was not fully grasping, she was like, ‘Are people coming here?’ She was downstairs and she was so excited and so proud,” the actress said. “She’s a huge Shirley fan. It just made me beyond happy. We high fived and we hugged. It was the best feeling.”
During her acceptance speech, the Mrs. America actress wore a shirt supporting Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician who was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers in March. On her decision to represent the young woman in a similar fashion as Emmy winner and Watchmen star Regina King, Aduba said she would be “remiss to not bring in some of what is happening outside in the streets.”
“The truth of the matter is I had the unique opportunity to play a woman who made it her life’s work to speak, represent and hold space for those people who are often forgotten or left out of the conversation, and it became very important for me to not close the space who are often left behind or forgotten.”
The Emmy winner also expressed that one of her goals post her win is to “add more chairs for others to come sit” before revealing what her message for Chisholm would be if she could speak to her today. “I would say thank you for making it ok to be one’s self,” Aduba explained. “In a time when — for women, black women, women of color — who were supposed to occupy a very narrow amount of space, she was not afraid to dare and live up to the fullness of her potential. Whether we knew it or not, her doing that carved out room that we all have been desperate for.”
This is Aduba’s fourth nomination and third win.
The actress beat out Holland Taylor (Hollywood), Margo Martindale (Mrs. America), Tracey Ullman (Mrs. America), Toni Collette (Unbelievable) and Jean Smart (Watchmen).
The 2020 Primetime Emmys were hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and took place virtually on Sunday.
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