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78 September 25th, 2015 Viola Davis Talks Her Emmy Acceptance Speech With Ellen DeGeneres & Notes To NY Times She Was Aware Of Nancy Lee Grahn’s Thoughts On It!


Last night was the second season kick-off of the highly-acclaimed series How to Get Away with Murder on ABC.  And if you caught the opener it was a doozy, and quite the  jaw-dropper!

Series star Viola Davis, who became the first African-American actress to win the Lead Actress in a Drama Series last Sunday at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmys this week visited Ellen.   

During her visit, Viola discussed her acceptance speech which has continued to be much bantered about, because of it’s content.  She noted, when she started to talk about white women and crossing over the line, her husband mentioned to her after her win: “‘V, I didn’t know where you were going with that! I really didn’t! When you were saying those white women with their arms stretched out over the line, I was like What is she doing?’  But he said, ‘When you said Harriet Tubman said it, I was like, ‘Oh my God, thank God.’”  Ellen DeGeneres chimed in and said she thought Davis was drunk when she started the speech! Viola laughed and admitted to drinking prosecco before the show as she was getting ready for the red carpet at home.

Viola’s speech was also brought up by an interview with her in the New York Times where they  about her reasons for her choice of words in the speech on, and the issue some of taken for lack of inclusion for all women in it.  Davis said: “If there has been any backlash, it’s that all people want to feel included in a speech. I know there has been some backlash with an actress who didn’t feel she was included.”  The reporter went in on it and said, “You mean the soap opera actress (Nancy Lee Grahn, GH), who argued on Twitter that Ms. Davis’s speech was misleading because she was part of an elite group of actresses who had never been held back by discrimination?”  To which Viola replied:  “Yes. I don’t know that I want to say more about that”

So, what do you think about the comments made by Viola’s husband and Ellen regarding their initial thoughts on  Viola’s Emmy speech?  And the HTGAWM star’s acknowledgment that she knows of General Hospital’s Nancy Lee Grahn’s tweets and thoughts on it?

Watch Viola on Ellen discussing her speech after the jump.  Then weigh-in!

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  1. clh says:

    Personally I don’t think the Emmy’s was the forum for her speech. I love her and the show but I tune in to the Emmy’s to enjoy seeing the people in the shows I enjoy win an award for their efforts, not political commentary.

    Was she right in what she said? Maybe, I don’t know I don’t work in that environment, but I’m not interested in listening to political statements, from anyone, when I tune into an entertainment show to be entertained. I myself watch all the shows that were in that category and I think Taraji should have won.

    As far as Nancy, she has the same right as Viola to express her opinion, right or wrong, but again I would want her to do it on the Emmy’s. How about you thank the people that watch your show, making the award possible, and move on.


    clh replied

    I (wouldn’t) want her to do it on the Emmy’s


    Abruzzfan replied

    Well said dh!


    tsyent replied

    I agree

    k/kay replied

    They have been doing it for years that is why viewership is down for the award shows. Now I am going to catch hell on this but here goes it is hard for me to get all worked up for anybody no matter what color you are in Hollywood they live in a fantasy world. so when they come out on stage in their very expensive gowns and tell the average doggie about your trials and tribulations you are going “Huh”? As for NLG she insults everyone all the time I am shocked that one of her buddies did not call her and tell her get off the computer now.

    Anacarrie replied

    Well if I can humbly state my opinion; you are right. Everyone has the right to express their opinion; however I can’t help but notice that Nancy had a problem with Viola’s speech but she would have had NO PROBLEM with it if she talked about the struggles of all women. If it is not a platform for a black woman to express her feelings on such a historical momentous occasion, then it is not a platform for what Nancy said either.

    The issue is that Nancy Lee Grahn failed to acknowledge that this is truly a big accomplishment, not just for Viola Davis, but for African American actresses. They have never won in this category for 67 years! It has nothing to do with the struggle for ALL WOMEN, because women, in particular white actresses, have been winning this award for decades. Prior to the show, it was all over the news, internet and other entertainment media that this was the first time in history that 2 black women were even being recognized to be nominated! It was also mentioned that if Viola or Taraji won it would be a first. So even if Taraji won (who I LOVE BY THE WAY AND HAVE LOVED SINCE LONG BEFORE EMPIRE) she too would have acknowledged this win as a victory for all black actresses as it is long overdue. Everyone has a right to express how they feel but I do believe in discernment as well. Nancy failed to exercise discernment in her comments. Our world is still progressive and prejudice, lack of opportunies and many forms of discrimination exist for all men and women of color so when we have overcome even a small bit of the large pool that still exists, we should applaud it instead of being critical. And for her to presume that Viola has never been discriminated against AND TO PUBLICLY VOICE IT….well that was a disaster waiting to happen.


    Virginia replied

    I could not have said it better.. The media was making a big deal about two African American being up for the award. The speech was good, that was her opinion, nobody knows her struggle on the ladder of success. Good win…..

    SZima replied

    Excellent response Anacarrie!

    Even though I groaned a little when Viola was talking, she certainly had a right to say what she wanted, and it was an important moment for her.

    Nancy needs to learn to keep her tweeter shut and quit the drunk tweeting.

  2. Beth says:

    Viola is being classy and keeping the focus on her achievement.

    The media blew this up so HUGE and now she and NLG are permanently associated together which is the last thing NLG intended, IMHO.

    NLG just said what she always says: speak up for women. Both want the same thing and love the same art form. Lesson learned. Let’s move on.


    Harry replied

    Beth, I respect and appreciate your opinion but would ask you to read NLG’s Tweets. They were mean spirited, and appeared to be written by a green eyed monster. They were horrid.


    Beth replied

    Bro, I was there as it happened. I follow NLG. I thought they were the kind of catty comments you make to your BFF at home while watching and imbibing adult beverages, certainly not something you tweet to 127K followers.
    I do not believe NLG understood the impact or how they would be received and I certainly don’t think she is a racist. Just my opinion. I think NLG has suffered enough. If Viola isn’t mad about it, that is the end of it for me. Thanks for being respectful.

  3. Jimh(leave it to beaver) says:

    ILL pass on commenting, many overly sensitive people might misconstrue what im saying and take offense…lol


    Ces replied

    Ha, I agree!
    I have to throw in that I think it’s stupid that NLG went upside down & backward to apologize for something she meant to say. Own up to it; don’t apologize ;)


    Harry replied

    Jim even during the rare times we might disagree, you are never ever offensive.
    Of course I cannot smell you from here.
    But seriously, don’t you think that ABC should impose some kind of Twitter guide lines for its actors and writers? When teachers earn their credentials they are often warned to either stay off Twitter and Facebook period or to be very careful about what they post or Tweet because it could come back to bit them. Even before this I found myself disliking the character of Alexis because I had read some really aggressive and annoying Tweets coming from NLG. Yes, like it or not it subconsciously does cross over. I never cared for Morgan but reading Bryan Craig’s aggressive and ignorant Tweets made me dislike the character even more. GH is struggling and the actors who post offensive Tweets need to stop before they push the send button or wait until the light of sobriety arises with the dawn’s early light.
    Maybe we don’t need are every unfiltered thought and feelings exposed for public consumption. Maybe we need to keep some of our thoughts to ourselves.I think some people are addicted to social media and they are shooting themselves in the foot while hearing Charlie Sheen’s voice ricochet in their heads,”I’m winning.” Then they wake up.


    Harry replied

    I mean, ‘our’ not ‘are’ and forgive the other mistakes and typos please. I am no good typing from my phone.
    Two days ago, I realized that there are two people I am grateful not to be: 1. The Volkswagon CEO and 2. Nancy Lee Grahn.

  4. su0000 says:

    she messed up bringing Harriet Tubman and her words into an acceptance speech..
    She should have used her words thanks and honor and not brought heavy into it..
    even if she didn’t know it it put discrimination in her acceptance.
    Anyways, who cares.. It’s dumb stuff..
    now days- bad/nasty twitter’s gives a public figure more air time more acknowledgment and a lot more attention.
    It works great for Trump lol


    Margie replied

    Oh, I was just waiting to see what suoooo would say. You never disappoint.
    NLG was the discriminator here.


    Harry replied

    I agree, Margie. Miss su000 always manages to out do herself. Yes, we as a society need to stop being so irony challenged and thin skinned but we also need to to be able to discriminate between the aforementioned and when someone has really crossed the line.
    I believe NLG crossed the line with her Tweets again and again……and again. Quite frankly, it came off as an attack.
    How dare she say that Viola Davis has never known discrimination when she doesn’t know the woman nor her history? She also Tweeted that Viola needed a script writer for her speech and that Viola is very lucky to earn the roles she had won. So, I guess being a highly skilled Julliard trained actress has nothing to do with it. NLG went on to Tweet that she would kill for her role. Oh yes–I guess Nancy wanted to play a Black maid in The Help.
    Yes, all women of a certain age have to fight for their roles but women of a certain age and of color have to fight even harder and are governed by racial stereotypical borders. NLG cannot even begin to know the struggles Viola Davis has endured and should not presume to know. As the writer from Ebony magazine said, “The white privileged need to stop auto correcting the black experience.” Indeed.
    I know she has apologized but she seems to have apologized because she finally got caught and the end result was a shit storm. This is not the first time NL has misbehaved on social media but I think it might be the last.

    su0000 replied

    Harry, she can fight for rights all she desires. She had many interviews where she could voice have spoken up.
    It was not the right time.
    Be gracious and say your thank yous and leave the controversy for another time and place..

    Gmbenet replied

    Maybe if instead of mentioning Harriet Tubman, Viola had mentioned Sojourner Truth, then maybe Nancy Lee Graham would have felt included!

    Sojourner Truth, was an African-American woman who was born in slavery in the state of New York, and gained her freedom in 1927. On May 29, 1851, Sojourner spoke at a Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio. Her speech is commonly known as, “Ain’t I A Woman?” The speech addressed the rights of women in general and not the rights of African-American women. However, when she spoke, Sojourner Truth could not help but speak from her experiences as an African-American. However, as I said, she was addressing the rights of women in general.

    My point is you cannot separate a person’s perspective from their experiences. Viola’s speech reflected her perspective based on her experiences in this nation as a woman, an African-American, well as an actress in the Entertainment Industry. To expect a person to disregard their perspective based on their life experiences is silly!

    Viola’s speech was not a political one. She was sharing her perspective based on her life experiences.

    Let’s not be hypocritical here. If it is not a big deal that an African-American actress won the Emmy for Lead Actress in a Drama Series, why is it constantly mentioned when ever Viola Davis is mentioned as the Emmy winner in that category. Viola will forever be labeled as the “first African-American Actress to win an Emmy for Lead Actress in a Drama Series” whether she wants to be or not! That alone is reason enough to give a speech that reflects her perspective based on her life experiences.

    It is wrong to expect a person to not speak about their life experiences just because their experiences, heritage and culture makes you uncomfortable. And if the truth be known, that is really what this so called “controversy” is about. Some people are uncomfortable when African-Americans speak about unfortunate things that have happend to their race in this country. Well it happened just as the American Revolution did to. It is all a part of AMERICAN history!

    Viola Davis is not the first actor to use the platform of an award show to share what is on her heart. That is also a practice at the Oscars, given in speeches by non-African-Americans.


    sonniorsolita replied

    Brilliantly put. It is NOT political or controversial for an actor to speak about the challenges of their career at a ceremony honoring them for their contribution to the field of acting. All these people telling Viola Davis what she should have or should not have said make me shake my head. It was her honor to win, and her right to respond in a personal manner that she saw fit. Her speech was moving and raised such interest because it was personal.

    Patrick replied

    trials and tribulations of the acting craft…

    personal trials… are fitting

    interviews and auditioning

    come hither… damn yourself… belittle… spank… rise… coax… not right

    the field is amass… so many energies to contest

    yet… a mine field? a smoking gun… an hour glass let… black or white

    shades of grey

    all in the writing

    if Viola Davis word wasn’t captured…
    if Nancy Leigh Grahn emoted embroiled…

    I can’t get between that

    but muster

    two humans bespoke

    two rights followed

    two lines
    two paths



    Patrick replied

    I don’t know

    I love Viola Davis’ MORE

    NLG comes in second

    the end


    absolutely not

    my road is not

    yours traverses

    mix melds turns and does reach

    Gmbenet replied

    ST gained her freedom in 1827 not 1927 (by then Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation!) Please excuse the typo.

  5. Adam says:

    Viola gave an amazing speech, and as a minority in this country where its still hard to be accepted whether your black, Hispanic are another nationality besides being white, I am agree with all she had to say, it was classy and down right the truth.

    We all have to fight but the minorities have to fight harder and we should not have too we should be seen as equal.


    Harry replied

    Absolutely, Adam. And her decision not to comment on NLG’s embarrassing Tweets proves that Viola Davis is a class act.


  6. Elizabeth says:

    Nancy repeatedly crossed the line with her tweets, which could also be considered “rants.” She publicly targeted politicians and religious groups. Her fans may consider her clever and witty, but many consider her tweets to be rude or offensive. Even her apology for the racist remarks were inappropriate. Well now she has finally gone too far and is deemed a racist. Words hurt, don’t they Nancy?

    What is going on over at ABC? Do they have a publicist? You would never see Laura Wright in a verbal mess like this, but Bryan Craig, Nancy Lee, and now Ryan Paevey need help. Actually, we could add Maurice to the list with his comments at the GHFCW. Perhaps Jane Elliot is the smartest of them all…she doesn’t have a Twitter account.


  7. Cathy says:

    NLG overstepped like she always does. She needs to be muzzled. ABC is a disgrace for letting her get away with it. It was Viola’s acceptance speech therefore she can say what she wants whether anyone agrees or not. This isn’t the first time NLG opened her mouth. NLG dudn tg gave to go on twitter and make h er opinion kniwn.


  8. Cathy says:

    NLG didn’t have to go on twitter and make her opinion known. She didn’t just comment either. She went on and on.


    Margie replied

    Right, Cathy. I counted 30 offensive tweets before she started to get that she’d angered a LOT of people.


  9. Jane says:

    Soap actors aren’t taken seriously enough but this show certainly doesn’t belong on Prime Time Television with those questionable scenes. HBO or Showtime maybe.


  10. Tristan says:

    I am really surprised by the anger so many viewers have expressed about Ms. Davis’s mention of Harriet Tubman. Why are so many white viewers so offended by this? I am an African American myself, old enough to remember a world where our civil rights were not a given and had to be fought for. I remember as a child in the 1960s that we “Negros” considered successes on the platform of the arts an expression of our integration into and acceptance by white society: Sidney Poitier’s Oscar, Motown acts on Ed Sullivan, Dianne Carroll starring in “Julia.” We cheered all “firsts” because it was a signal to Negros (as we called ourselves) that progress had been made.

    White people may not think of these things as progress, because for whites they are the norm! For the whole of the history of the Television Academy the Best Actress in a Drama Emmy was given to a white woman. So, for whites, eh, no biggie. For the first time in 67 years an African American woman won. In her speech Ms. Davis was celebrating yet another milestone that reminds African Americans that we too are part of the polity. If she had used the speech to rant racist cant and damn white people for making us wait, I would understand your anger with her speech. With all the racism today, the shootings (of folk who wouldn’t have been shot if they had listened to the cops) and the hostility they have created from black and whites, what is wrong with an African American celebrating our inclusion in the realm of acting recognition? She was celebrating inclusion, not spouting race hate. For many white people Ms. Davis’s award meant nothing, yet they are angry that it meant something HUGE to Ms. Davis and to many African Americans. It was meaningless to whites, but big to blacks. Why is it so offensive that she marked what to us was a big deal: further proof that racial barriers have fallen? Isn’t this something that all good Americans should celebrate? Something good happening in the realm of race? And if you parse Harriet Tubman’s comments, they are about whites helping blacks make progress!!!! That was the point!!!!! It was racially inclusive and a celebration of one woman’s inclusion, which she took to be symbolic of a people.

    It seems that these younger generations have little grasp of history. In the lives of many of us still alive: we couldn’t go into certain stores, or ride buses where we chose, or be dramatic leads on TV shows. Ms. Davis was acknowledging progress in our great country, which was undercut by so many people angry that she alluded to the progress. As Americans, any sign of racial progress — no matter how meaningless to those historically unsophisticated — should be cause for celebration.

    Had NLG just waited one day to make her points no one would have cared. She unwisely chose to piss on a moment that for many black was historically resonant. The symbolism of her timing is what annoyed me. Not her original comments.

    Seriously, if so many whites are so offended by blacks celebrating a happy milestone, with words that celebrated racial inclusion (again, read Ms. Tubman), I fear for the future of race relations.


    sonniorsolita replied

    Excellent sentiment. Thank you for your well-written thoughts. Much needed perspective.


    Patrick replied

    I can only imagine

    that, her Harriet Tubman quote:

    as she spoke… about the white woman(s) reaching out
    and I just can’t get their

    when roles are made available.. on an equal measure… and it’s a just free for all

    and it’s no holds barred

    then i’ll race
    i’ll equip myself ready

    i’ll stampede my worth

    I’ll reach you


    Rose replied

    Really appreciated your incites in your comment. As for Nancy who I’ve liked as an actress, I’ll have a hard time not thinking about her badly timed tweets when I see her play Alexis.


  11. Trophy Lady says:

    Viola’s speech was PERFECT!!! She commented on her experience, and the experience of many black actresses in this country.

    People who find a problem with her speech really make me laugh. These people also make me question their own morals and values. Viola commented on her experience and how it’s affected her in the industry. These same people who find fault in Viola’s speech by saying it “wasn’t the place” to bring up race issues — well, please tell me, where EXACTLY is the place to bring up racism issues about actors TO ACTORS, DIRECTORS, and PRODUCERS??? Where was she supposed to talk about this? Or should she have just acted like racism in the industry doesn’t exist? Should she have just shut up and said nothing at all? Just be happy she won and be about her merry way?

    You know, these same people who find fault with Viola’s focus on “racism” would have literally PRAISED her in the SAME speech if she’d spoken about:

    1) Gay Marriage/LBGT issues

    2) The war in Iraq or anything about veterans

    3) ALL women deserving equal pay OR ALL actresses over 40

    Somehow it’s perfectly okay to talk about any of those things. Somehow, when it comes to those issues, EVERYONE should always speak up!!! Your voices need to be heard because you need to stick up for others when it comes to those issues. Well, who’s sticking up for people like Viola? If Viola didn’t stand up for the cause and plight of Black actresses getting the shaft, then who would have???

    So that’s exactly what she did — because she could! She spoke about what PERSONALLY affected her because it was HER TIME to shine. She shouldn’t have to represent others if she doesn’t want to. And she shouldn’t have to say or NOT SAY something to ensure that others don’t feel “uncomfortable” about an issue that should be addressed.

    Just complete LUNACY — Nancy Lee Grahn, and all the others who believe that ANYTHING Viola said was wrong! Gimme a break, and wake up!


    Dylan replied

    I absolutely love your posts!!!!!! You are spot on! If she had spoken about gay marriage, she would have gotten a teary eyed standing ovation….and possibly a Nobel Prize. It was a personal moment for her to say what her life and career had meant to her up until that point!


    Trophy Lady replied

    Thank you, Dylan!

    And, yes, if Viola had spoken about gay marriage EVERYONE in attendance would’ve stood up and bowed at her feet! But because she spoke about racism, somehow, that topic was deemed inappropriate! Somehow, there is “a proper time and a proper place” to speak about racism but that’s NEVER the case when it concerns gay rights. Or, as NLG wants you to believe — ALL WOMEN’S RIGHTS! Somehow, speaking about ALL women is okay — just not black women. Really? I amazes me that people believe and actually defend NLG’s crap, but don’t see that this is about NLG’s own agenda. She didn’t want Viola to speak about what NLG deemed “inappropriate,” but if she’d focused on what NLG wanted, then all would be well. What a joke!

  12. Rebecca Zertuche says:

    I think that it’s time to let it go. Nancy Lee Grahn has apologized repeatedly, if you’ve never said anything that unintentionally hurt someone then you’re ahead of the game.


    Beth replied

    No one should ever stomp on another person’s moment. Period. It’s so completely ungracious and takes away from what they accomplished,
    I do not believe NLG set out to do that. She shot off some thoughtless tweet, and this has happened before, BTW, and kaBOOM people went cray cray.
    She apologized and has suffered complete humiliation and personal attacks and ridicule in retaliation.
    Enough! Give the moment back to Viola Davis and stop associating them together,
    As to the suggestion that ABC begin coaching their cast members on social media etiquette. Amen to that. The View, OY! Stop offending the audience you are courting.


    Patrick replied

    “.. Give the moment back to Viola Davis and stop associating them together,”


    two totally separate entities

    two viable women
    two humane interests

    Dylan replied

    You’re right!! Why is it always GH staff who drink too much and then sound off on social media? That is usually the domain of delusional, self entitled Hollywood people like the Kardashians and Taylor Swift. ABC must not care because controversy brings publicity. And any publicity is good…right?

    Elizabeth replied

    I think there are three reasons why people can’t let this go.

    1. The timing of the tweet. That moment was clearly Viola Davis’. Let her have it. Don’t be an attention whore. It’s like people who get engaged at someone else’s wedding reception.

    2. The tweet was not an isolated one, but one in a pattern of thoughtless, offensive tweets.

    3. It appears that once again ABC has done nothing to reprimand one of its actors.


  13. downtownla says:

    I’m glad Viola said something meaningful. Instead of rattling off a bunch of names (agents, publicists, etc.) that would go in one ear and right out the other with me, she gave me a glimpse of who she was as a person and what it took for her to get there.


  14. Priscilla says:

    I don’t think Viola Davis speech was out of turn at the “Emmys,” in fact in was due to Her Historic Win of the Emmy, for “Outstanding Lead Actresses in a Drama Series, “The FIRST Black Woman or Woman of Color to do so.” that lead to Her Speech. I think it was a classy & well thought out speech, that was based on the fact of Lack of Roles, especially Lead Roles on Tv (also Movies & other Media) for Women of Color. It wasn’t like she made a out-of-left-field, nothing at all to do with the Emmys Political Statement. As for Nancy Lee Grahn, Yes! she does has the right to freedom of speech, as do We all, but as with Us all that freedom does come with consequences if You say something others feel is wrong, stupid or controversial. I think what Ms. Grahn said was very self-centered, I think she was selfishly trying to put the spotlight on herself & her lack of work, like “Look at Me, poor pitiful Me & my lack of roles, etc…” Where as Ms. Davis’ speech was for & inclusive of ALL Women of Color & their struggle to get work as Actresses due to the actual & factual LACK of Roles for Women of Color. For NLG, to say that Viola, never experienced discrimination & was part of an elite group of actresses that isn’t held back by discrimination, was totally uncalled for & not based in fact. NLG, does NOT know what struggles Viola has or hasn’t experienced in her Acting & personal Life and it is NOT Ms. Grahn place to question or speak of Ms. Davis struggles or lack of. All Nancy Lee Grahn ended up doing by her Twitter comments, is come across as a JEALOUS BITTER BITCH!!


    Patrick replied

    i’m leaving this be : but not duly noted

    “… For NLG, to say that Viola, never experienced discrimination & was part of an elite group ”

    wow… earned your stripes

    learned from you past

    risen from the lesson learned

    geezus… cliches abound



    Patrick replied

    *but not

    should marquee : duly noted

  15. Belle says:

    I want to scream everytime someone says let it go about Ms. Grahn’s twitter rant. Even though she apologized and deleted her flurry of hateful tweets, she went on and on into the early morning even after people let her know how vicious her comments were. She is not a young person and I would think she would have some decorum. Ms. Davis’ speech was for every person of color who finds it hard to find parts in Primetime tv. We will move on to the next thing, but I hope next time, Ms. Grahn will think before she tweets.


  16. Trophy Lady says:

    And another thing that bothers me about Nancy Lee Grahn’s comments — she acts like there are Black women ALL OVER GH!!!

    Like there are LITERALLY more black women in lead roles on GH than there are white women.

    Like NLG had to “fight” for the role of Alexis Davis because they were only auditioning black actresses at the time.

    Like NLG had auditioned for MILLIONS of roles, but they ALL went to black actresses instead!

    What in the world is this chick talking about??? Seriously, Viola has NEVER been discriminated against, but poor, sad, woe-is-me NLG has??? Gimme a break with her pure and utter FOOLISHNESS!!! I truly DESPISE people who are idiots — and NLG is, without question, an idiot. And she shouldn’t have a problem with that being said about her, right? I mean, free speech and all, right?


    Patrick replied

    I readily reply

    original post… ie: NLG : 203 posts

    this thread : 32 and count

    you know… Viola Davis is aware of NLG emote

    Women.. will traverse and meet eye to eye and battle…

    I laud that…

    Men fight to the dogged dearth…

    just saying…

    eye to eye mix



    Dylan replied

    Lol. You’re funny!! And blunt! Find my post below, and see if you like it.


    Trophy Lady replied

    Thanks, Dylan! Yeah, I just don’t see any reason to beat around the bush. We all know what this issue is about — whether people want to admit it or not.

    I say all of the time, when it comes to gay issues vs. race issues — people are ALL for gay rights/gay issues being discussed and dealt with. But somehow, when it comes to race — that issue is just “too touchy,” “inappropriate,” or “people are just so sensitive.”

    No one tells gay people that they are “too sensitive” about LGBT issues! So, why is it that black people are constantly told that they’re being too sensitive? It’s like if you’re against gay rights, then CLEARLY you’re stuck in the dark ages. BUT when it comes to race issues, well, everyone should understand that some people are “really uncomfortable” talking about such things. And, furthermore, you can’t expect people to change overnight when it comes to race. You have to give people time to grow (or die!) where racism is concerned — but you shouldn’t push them because everyone comes from different places. JUST PURE BOLOGNA!!!

    rebecca1 replied

    @Trophy Lady. You’re doing the same thing you accuse Nancy of. You ASSUME because she is white she’s never faced discrimination, which comes in all forms including religious, age, beauty, weight, health. No one here knows how many roles Nancy was rejected for…was she not young enough, thin enough, blonde enough…black enough?

    She spoke out of turn by assuming…but she’s for ALL women in an industry that she apparently feels are too harshly judged. That includes middle aged women of all ethnic backgrounds who have historically been cast aside.


    Trophy Lady replied

    Rebecca, I’m really not doing the same thing as NLG. NLG said that Viola had never been discriminated against — even though Viola has said on MANY occasions that she has been. What I said was that NLG wants us to feel sorry for her because she says she has been discriminated against because she is a woman.

    My point is that, sure, NLG has probably been discriminated against because she is a woman over 40. BUT Viola has been discriminated against because she is a woman over 40 AND A BLACK WOMAN OVER 40! Not only was she discriminated against for being over 40, Viola has stated that even when she was a young woman, she was discriminated against because she was black.

    I think the key element here is that NLG wanted Viola to focus on ALL women in the industry — typical feminism rhetoric. The problem with “typical feminism” rhetoric, is that it COMPLETELY dismisses that RACE place just as much of a role in feminism as well. Therefore, the white woman experience simply isn’t the same as the black woman experience just because they are both women. White feminism and Black feminism are not the same thing — and that is what “typical feminists” like NLG completely FAIL to realize.

  17. Anacarrie says:

    Nancy’s comments were completely inappropriate. Bottom line, this moment was not a only a big win for Viola Davis, it was a big moment for AFRICAN AMERICAN ACTRESSES. To say it should be about all women who don’t get recognized or acknowledged makes NO SENSE because white actresses have been acknowledged for their craft and have been awarded this honor for SEVERAL DECADES! This moment WAS AND STILL IS HUGE and for her to try to take away from it and attempt to negate this historical moment is very disappointing. One can argue that she is entitled to her feelings but to go on a public platform and share those thoughts?! I have to wonder, in light of her comments of feeling unrecognized, did she do it to get attention? If so, she chose a HECK of a topic. But if she did this simply for the reason that this is how she feels, then I am sad for her. It takes a lot of gall to not only presume but to say that Viola has never been discriminated against; to even comment on any black person’s experience is out of line because she will NEVER know what it is like to be an african american woman in the entertainment industry and most importantly this world.


  18. Jamesj75 says:

    It’s clear that Davis was mum on NLG because she is extremely perturbed with NLG and didn’t want to make matters worse. I will ignore the larger, more important, issue of race relations and dive right into social media.

    Social media will lead to the downfall of society. Look at the tremendous backlash to NLG for her tweets. In a sense, I suppose that our interactions here at the Fairman site are a part of social media. Yet I have seen much divisiveness and harmful effects coming from FaceBook, Twitter, and their ilk. I was briefly on FB but left when I realized it wasn’t for me. Exposing such great detail about personal matters to a world wide web audience is dangerous. In a real-world setting, would any of us leave our home doors open for any and all to view and enter? If not, then why do so many do so figuratively in social media? And the reliance on social media in lieu of face-to-face interactions has psychological ramifications.

    NLG used the twitersphere platform for her opinions to ill effect. We are all entitled to our opinions, of course. Any opinion is bound to alienate at least one segment of society. One can opine that the sky is blue, and there will always be those who disagree.


    Rose replied

    James…I agree with your the “open door” comment about social media. And I really don’t know why someone wants to share all of the things they put out there. But what has really amazed me about the social media phenomenon is it has uncovered some very negative, disturbing thoughts and trolls in society that we wouldn’t have known existed before. In a perverse way it’s been a wakeup call that not all is not well in a larger population than we might have guessed. Just wish we knew what to do about it.


    Jamesj75 replied

    Rose, thanks a million for your thoughtful reply! You bring up a valid and interesting point regarding the negativity that has been exposed through social media. In its extreme, terrorists have spread propaganda and enlisted sympathizers and activists (the worst kind of trolls), even on the US shores.

  19. Dylan says:

    I posted a long post about this under the original column. Simply put…it was Ms. Davis’ speech. (Ironic that Nancy Lee Grahn plays Alexis DAVIS.) If Nancy had to post about the speech , it should have said CONGRATULATIONS ON A WELL DESERVED WIN. Nothing more. Mixing tequila and twitter is NEVER A good idea! I would like to coin a new phrase for celebrities who imbibe and then go to Social Media. TWIQUILA.


    Trophy Lady replied

    I agree! It seems that NLG never learned the old adage, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” If she’d done just that, she wouldn’t have to defend herself. But since she wants to be so mouthy — well, there are consequences. Now people know exactly want kind of a “woman” she really is.


    sonniorsolita replied

    “Twiquila” … love it! Ms. Grahn is not the only celebrity who needs to lay off the Twiquila!


  20. Adam says:

    Nancy Lee Grahn’s tweets were so uncalled for really? Now she had to go back and apologize, which was good, but still, never been fan of her’s and never will. GH good luck with this actress on your show, well there’s hardly any minorities on GH anyway, so she want have to worry so much!


  21. Belle says:

    Anacarrie, Tristan, and Trophy Lady were excellent with their comments ; I can’t add anything to what they stated. Bravo ! Tremendous! Superb!


    Tristan replied

    Thank you so much, Belle!


    Trophy Lady replied

    Thank you, Belle! :)

  22. Rose says:

    Food for thought…Everyone has their own way of accepting an award. Viola had hers, and I can’t say I blame her…certainly not on racial grounds. It was 75 years ago Hattie McDaniel graciously accepted her Academy award as best supporting actress in Gone With The Wind. She was incidentally the first negro, as she was called then, to receive one, in a segregated venue where her director had to get special permission for her to be admitted and given a table. Since then there has been Sidney Poitier, Denzel, Whoopi, Harry Belafonte, and others that have won awards, and continued to pave the way with more and more challenging roles. But always with other nominees and audiences over-whelmingly white.

    And other actresses have been vocal about the roles available, and offered to women.

    Nancy has a right to think and feel what she tweets about, but in this case the timing was all wrong. It was Viola’s night…her party.


  23. Carlos says:

    NLG ‘s comments , Tweets, should have not her send button, if she had a 5-10 second delay, we would never know her thoughts about race, discrimination, women, equality……it would have been some other actor, actress, who would have taken her place in voicing the same or similar remarks. This usually occurs when there is an award show, and a “milestone” is or may occur. Hollywood, the Television Academy, has for a very’ very long time, failed to recognize gifted talented actors, because they put them in a box with respect to their gender, race, and the few people in the positions of creating roles, scripts, and opportunity for actors to do their craft, is because it’s a club that they create and control, because they can. The only reason why Meryl Streep, and Sandra Bullock can do what they do so magnificently is because they create and control their acting themselves, i.e, roles for movies. Jane Fonda is a genius, and a very talented actress, despite being blacklisted by Hollywood for years, and she found On Golden Pond, developed it herself, and had two of the best actors on the planet, her father and Katherine Hepburn. But it was her production company that produced that movie. Viola Davis knows the game, she is a class act that’s why she didn’t need to respond to the NLG tweets, bu the next award show the Globes…,it will fade from the news cycle, and we will be writing about who was snubbed by not being nominated…


  24. Gmbenet says:

    I want to address what the article above said that Nancy Lee Graham asserted that Viola Davis was a part of an elite group of actresses that had never been held back by discrimination.

    In 2014, Oprah Winfrey had a special on OWN where African-American actresses were invited to come and discuss their issues and experiences trying to get work in Hollywood. They also talked about how those experiences had affected them personally. The participating actresses included Viola and others who Nancy would probably consider elite.

    After reading many of the comments on this page and comments on the initial article posted about Nancy Lee Graham’s tweets, I am understanding that the special that aired on OWN was not seen by a lot of non-African-Americans. If they had seen that special and heard the discussion among the participating actresses, they would have understood Viola’s speech. If Nancy Lee Graham had seen the special maybe she would not have gone on a rant the way she did.

    I am not saying that Nancy (and other non-African-Americans) would have agreed with everything said on the show but it would have given them a better understanding of the perspective Viola was articulating when she won her Emmy.

    I think this so called controversy would have never taken place.

    Now I will tell you exactly how I feel about persons who do not like it when African-Americans speak about their experiences in this nation and tell us to “shut up” about it. I am tired of it. As far as I am concerned whoever does not like it can go jump into the hole of the nearest port-a-potty! I for one will continue to speak about the African-American experience whenever and wherever I feel it is relevant to the topic at hand. Anyone who does not like it can… You know!


  25. rebecca1 says:

    I still think the reaction to Nancy is ridiculous..However, I don’t think she helped get her point across by stating her opinion that Viola wasn’t discriminated against. Perhaps she was at some point before she got on Times 100 most influential list or before her numerous awards including the Academy Awards, Tony Awards, Emmy….among others.

    Still, I’d like to know how many expert witnesses here gave her a breathalyzer test whilst condemning Nancy and calling her a racist.


  26. Darrick says:

    Before taking to twitter perhaps Nancy should have asked herself besides Debbi Morgan, how many African-American actresses have had the privilege to work in daytime for 30+ years? It seems Nancy has forgotten her own “elite class” including the likes of Deidre Hall, Susan Lucci, Katherine Kelly Lang, Kristian Alfonso, Melody Scott (I could go on and on and on…) It should take nothing more than a look at her daytime community to understand the need for diversity. If Nancy is such a champion for human rights and women’s rights she should understand and celebrate Viola’s much deserved accomplishment.


    Trophy Lady replied

    Darrick — isn’t that just plain common sense on NLG’s part? She’s done all this talking about Viola being “elite” and “not being discriminated against,” yet NLG has had a prominent place in daytime for more than 20 years! So, what is she talking about? NLG may not be the “hot, young seductress” any longer, but she is still a LEAD on GH! Where are her Black actress counterparts? They are certainly NO WHERE TO BE FOUND on GH — or on ANY daytime soap! She really doesn’t have a leg to stand on — at all.

    And, furthermore, if she is so about ALL WOMEN, then why isn’t she shouting from the rooftops at ABC that there needs to be more diverse women on GH? Why isn’t she making a stink about this at ABC? So, she won’t speak up in her own house on GH, but EXPECTS that Viola speak up on NLG’s behalf when Viola wins her Emmy? Really, chick?! She sooooo needs to be talked to.


    rebecca1 replied

    Once again, Trophy Lady, you’re assuming that NLG hasn’t asked for more racial equality on GH. Maybe she has, maybe she hasn’t. Don’t know; neither do you. What I do know is she has felt that prior to Ron coming over to GH, she and Jane Elliot had discussed how they, felt, as women over a certain age…that they were invisible.

    You know what I’d like to see? I’d like to see characters and families on TV…including soaps… as well as film…Jewish. How many non Jewish actors, including non Jewish black actors…are demanding that? And if this were a primarily black site…how many would be in favor or supporting Jewish actors wanting to be represented. I’m “assuming”…not many.

    Trophy Lady replied

    Rebecca, why should Viola be “responsible” for speaking up for ALL ethnic groups? Why should she speak up for Jewish actors? She’s had a hard enough time as a black actress, now she’s responsible for all of the other ethnic groups as well?

    I’m not saying that she shouldn’t — if that’s what she wanted to do with HER TIME at the Emmys. But, the idea that because she won, she needs to represent any other group other than what she wants to, is simply ridiculous. You’re basically saying the same thing that NLG said — NLG wanted her to speak about ALL women getting the shaft instead of focusing on Black women. By focusing on ALL women, Viola would’ve COMPLETELY ignored the fact that she has been affected by being a woman, and being black. You can’t separate those two things.

    And by the way, most people are aware that MANY Jewish people are actually in many powerful positions in entertainment industry — in front of and behind the camera. I don’t think that Jewish people are really feeling “underrepresented” in Hollywood.

    Rebecca1 replied

    Trophy Lady…your reply to me was EXACTLY the sentiment I knew it would be. So…here we go…

    I never said VIOLA DAVIS should have addressed the fact that there is very little portrayal of Jewish life in the media. I simply stated there isn’t. That’s a fact. There’s not. But that’s something I’d like to hear addressed. I said on several other posts I would have also welcomed a speech about the lack of diversity portrayed in the media regarding other people in society…the overweight, the disabled, actors such as Peter Dinklage, the dwarf who won Best Supporting Actor for his excellent work on Game of Thrones, and so on…

    I don’t want to hear another speech about the lack of black roles in TV And film. Why? Because we have a black president. Because we have EXTANT, BlACK-ISH, EMPIRE, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER, SCANDAL and a host of other great shows starring black actors…all of the aforementioned I watch and love. Some of the highest paid celebrities in the world are black…Lebron James, Sean Combs, Jay Z, Beyoncé, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Drake ( though he’s Jewish, too), dr. dre, Pharrell…etc

    Yes, the above list encompasses sports figures and musicians, as well…and let’s not forget Oprah.

    I’ve heard people say…when there’s maybe one more of perhaps a handful of movies about The Holocaust…”oh, man, can’t the Jews get over was sixty odd years ago.” Many of those complaining were black. A lot of anti semitism from black people…which is ironic to me since many Jewish people marched and died for civil rights…and I believe was the largest white population to vote for Obama. But I digress…

    Look up one of the many Jewish philanthropists who created The Rosenwald Schools, 5000. Schools…So that black children could get an education. People like Maya Angelou went to one of the Rosenwakd schools. Funny how many, if not most in the black community don’t think of Jewish people like Mr Rosenwald when speaking of Jewish people but instead…

    …Reiterate anti Semitic rhetoric like the “Jews run the media” Which is basically what you just insinuated…as I knew you would once I “dared” state that there were no Jewish roles. See? I didn’t say there were no Jewish people IN the media…I said being depicted.

    When was the last time a soap opera had a Jewish character? Ever see a character wear a Jewish Star! Hanukkah anyone? No? That’s because there aren’t any…

    I remember a few times when GH made a holiday seasons video. Except it was just one holiday…Christmas. Even though Sean Kanan (AJ) is Jewish…Kristen Alderson (Starr, Kiki) is half Jewish, etc…

    For your enlightenment, last I looked ( the management might have changed) not one news operation is currently headed by a Jewush executive. And Jewish people are not the majority in Hollywood like in the 20s, 30s and 40s like so many anti Semitic pgeople continue to perpetuate about the ” Jew run media.”

    Thanks to The Holocaust, future generations was severely lost. Jewish people make up less than 1 percent of the world population. It is true though, through hard work and In SPITE OF anti semitism, there are a lot of Jewish people in entertainment, law, medicine, science and education…who give money…and speeches…for others rights.

    So, no. I wasn’t either enamored of Viola ‘s speech. She’s a great actress. I love her work and am continually astounded at the heights of acting she brings to her current show. But I don’t need to hear about black roles. They’re there. Now. And they’ll be more. The world..and made up of more than the history of the aforementioned. Key word. History.

    Trophy Lady replied

    Rebecca — a few things:

    1. I am glad we are having this discussion because I think far too many people shy away from racial issues. Why not discuss and voice your thoughts?!

    2. As my response was what you thought it would be, in the same vain, your response is very much what I thought it would be, as well. So, let’s discuss…

    You mentioned that you don’t want to hear any more talk about the “lack” of Blacks on TV because there are such shows as Empire, Extant, Black-ish, How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal, etc. You also mentioned some black celebrities like Puffy, Beyonce, LeBron, etc. You also mentioned the fact that the President is black, as well. My question to you is do you now believe that the playing field is equal? Do you think we are in a post-racial society? I ask because even though you named a few shows and few successful black people in the industry, do you think that comes ANYWHERE CLOSE to the number of whites in those same positions? Those few black shows and few black celebrities PALE IN COMPARISON to their white counterparts. People often say, “There’s BET — what are you complaining about?” That’s ONE BLACK CHANNEL compared to how many that focus on the white experience? Furthermore, why should black people be solely relegated to that one channel if they want to see more black people on TV? Shouldn’t ALL those channels and shows available on TV (and movies!) be much more inclusive than what they are? The bottom line is that no matter how much you may want to believe it, the entertainment industry simply isn’t equal. Sure, you see more black people on TV, in movies, or even the President — people you never would’ve seen in the past. But these people are still very much in the minority — which is what Viola was speaking to. The door has been opened, but by no means is EVERYONE allowed to come in. Hollywood is still VERY SELECTIVE about how many Black people they will let through the door — especially in non-stereotypical black roles, like that of Viola’s “Annalise Keating” on HTGAWM. Blacks in sports or music don’t have the same challenges that black actors have.

    3. I know you thought you knew what my response would be regarding Jewish people vs. black people, but you have misunderstood. I simply said that I didn’t think that Viola should be responsible for speaking up for all ethnic groups. I honestly don’t have a problem with you wanting to see more Jewish people on TV. That’s fine — and I think more Jewish people should speak up about that if that’s what they want. Viola spoke up for black actress; Jewish actresses should speak up for other Jewish women.

    As far as blacks and Jewish people — I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I’ve honestly never heard ANY black person saying that Jewish people should forget about the Holocaust. That just seems silly, and moreover, I actually appreciate that Jewish people seemed determined to NEVER let the public forget about it. That’s smart! I honestly wish more black people felt as strongly about the fight for civil rights — and NEVER letting the public forget about that entire struggle — and the struggle that still continues. And that is what Viola did with her time at the Emmys.

    I know that many Jewish people helped with Civil Rights — just as did many white people. That’s great. I don’t have a problem with any of those people. I think that’s what has to happen in order for change to happen — people in power have to help those without power, those without equal rights. That’s EXACTLY what’s happening regarding gay marriage issues. Many straight people are protesting right along with gay people. And that’s EXACTLY why Viola made her speech in front of the people who needed to hear it. They needed to hear what’s going on, because if those people aren’t even aware of her struggle and the struggle of MOST Black actresses in Hollywood, how is anything going to change? The people in power MUST be the ones to make the difference. The people in power MUST present the opportunities. If they don’t, then, once again, Black people will continue to be relegated to BET status.

    rebecca1 replied

    Trophy Lady…

    I, too, welcome a respectful dialogue. Unfortunately, if one was to expressive what they truly think on these complicated issues, civil could turn hostile on a dime.
    While I understand all you’ve expressesd and I understand the emotion and passion you feel…I don’t agree with Viola’S speech. I’ll tell you why. I Don’t agree that doors aren’t open to black actors. I DO AGREE that there is still a disparity between the racial spectrum in terms of how many people we currently have starring on TV and film. The difference is, the message was already received. As long as there is an audience…and people tune in to watch ANY good actor, show, film…and the networks and studios are making money…there will be a demand, and thus more roles.

    With the success of the black actor featured shows already mentioned, the success of Oprah which led to Whoopie, Tyra, Steve Hardy, Michael Strahan…the list goes on and on. It’s happening…and hearing Viola’S speech sounds like she’s the exception. She’s not. Whether black people get more into the production, creating end of it and hire more black actors as is done on EMPIFE, or non black creatives keep the hiring trend going…it’s already in progress.

    Couple that with Sharpton and a new march of the month…sorry…this is where it gets touchy…

    A white acquaintance mentioned Viola’s speech to me the other day. She rolled her eyes and just said, regarding the context…”I’m so over it…”

    As for the Jewish people…it’s a culture that is notoriously liberal and speaks up, contributes, marches and donates time and money for the rights of others, even in the face of bigotry against their own religion, culture. I have no sympathy for a group of people who, like the Jewish people, have been oppressed, yet have not been supportive of the Jewish community. I’ve heard inflammatory comments about Jewish people…personally…and have had to hear anti Semitic crap from Farrakhan, Spike Lee, Whitney Houston, Jessie Jackson, Sharpton…

    Sorry. I maintain my individual likes and dislikes. I judge people on their own worth. I’m going to say something completely cliche but I mean it…some of my best friends have been and are black. In one day I might run into five strangers..,three might be white and hateful…two might be black and wonderful. Its individuals.

    But as a collective group…I am sooo over the speeches, marches, people bending over backward not to offend the black community. My mom used to watch The View. I used to ask her to turn it off because I couldn’t take one more half hour long gripe about who said what to offend a black person. If there was another group offended or insulted..if it got five minutes discussion it was a lot.

    Oh…and none of the great shows mentioned, as well as others not mentioned, are relegated to BET.

  27. mike says:

    N LG made a mistake, she sounded jealous to me. I don’t think she meant to sound racist. I’m an African American I’ll give her a pass, people say stupid things sometimes.


  28. Josh says:

    Twitter and Facebook are pernicious awful platforms. That said, I applaud Nancy, and no, speaking the truth as one sees it is not racist. Like I said in another post about something different, this country now is about groups, which is the total antithesis of our philosophy as different people who choose a common set of values, liberty, individualism and hard work, not ethnicity or nationality. Being an actress in Hollywood and winning an Emmy are luxuries and privileges of an elitist few, many who aren’t any more talented than anyone else. People need to grow up and stop looking for reasons to be offended. If most people in this country alive today were here a century ago, we would have NEVER won the two world wars, and the world may not even be here as we know it today. Hollywood is a bunch of pampered elitists who have zero clue how reality works, so it’s very easy to spout off lazily thought-out ideals that mask our real problems of ignorance, laziness, self entitlement, apathy and lack of a work ethic and can-do attitude that made this county great. Now we’re a bunch of apologizing weak feckless crybabies laughed at by the rest of the world. That’s why I don’t support Hollywood and I only watch scripted programming in daytime serial format. Start preaching, and I’m done. Oh by the way, before anyone responds with some hateful liberal rhetoric, I’m gay, Catholic, white skin from European background, and dark features from my native American background. I don’t want to hear about victims. Everyone has been challenged. Accepting challenges and defeating what stands in your way, no matter what your background, is what makes us, as individuals great, because every single one of us is a minority. Mob/group/demographic mentality is primitive and un-American and un-civilized. Unfortunately, America is on that path that cannot be reversed, and I’m glad I’m over half way to the goal line, because an angry, offended, fractured nation of lazy-minded victims doesn’t appeal to me.


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