This past winter, Black actors dominated prime-time television from Wednesday to Thursday nights with “Empire” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” and Hollywood took notice. From Taraji P. Henson to Cicely Tyson and even David Oyelowo (HBO’s “Nightingale”) and Don Cheadle (Showtime’s “House of Lies”), more than a dozen actors of color were nominated for an Emmy Award.
At the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, we walked away with three golden statues: Viola Davis, won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series playing Annalise Keating in “How to Get Away With Murder”; Uzo Aduba won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series playing Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in “Orange Is the New Black”; and Regina King won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie playing Aliyah Shadeed on “American Crime.”
Aduba’s a newcomer in comparison to King and Davis, who are seasoned actresses, this is their first major screen recognition and her second Emmy (Outstanding GueActress, 2014). This was undoubtedly one of the most memorable Emmy productions for people of color.
The Power of Words
Davis declared at the Women’s History Museum’s fourth annual Women Making History Brunch in Los Angeles, “I understand that acting is not rocket science. I do. But I do feel that it’s an important art form. It is my mission in life to make women of color a part of the narrative in our business.”
Her words are seeing light. The icing on the Emmy cake was the Ava DuVernay-directed Apple commercial, starring “Scandal’s” Kerry Washington, “Empire’s” Henson and Grammy Award-winning singer Mary J. Blige playing twice during the Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, broadcast of the television academy’s awards telecast, it was a timely example of the on-screen chemistry Black women have. They were BFFs in action — loving life, enjoying music and each other’s company. Viewers loved it. We need and desire more.
Fall 2015 TV Lineup
“Minority Report” (Fox) with Meagan Good premiered Monday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m.