Emmys: HBO Dominates, Viola Davis Becomes First Black Woman to Win Best Actress in Drama Series

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Getty Images
Los Angeles, CA

HBO might have dominated the 67th Emmy awards, but that did not stop Viola Davis from making Emmy history Sunday night. Davis became the first black actress to win the Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series award at Sunday’s awards show.

For her starring role in ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, Davis faced off against Empire star Taraji P. Henson, another black actress, but ultimately came out on top.

The nominations also made history, as 2015 is the first year two black actresses were nominated for category, Variety reports.

“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity,” said Davis as she accepted her accolade. “You cannot win Emmys with roles that are simply not there.”

Davis also quoted Harriet Tubman and acknowledged her fellow blacks actresses, including Kerry Washington and Halle Berry.

“Thank you for taking us over that line,” she said.

When speaking to reporters backstage, Davis announced she is pleased with the overall progression of opportunities for black actors, but is ready for the conversation to stop.

“Not just stop saying it, but also stop writing it,” she said.

HBO was the night’s biggest winner with Game of Thrones, Veep, and Olive Kitteridge taking home awards for best drama series, best comedy series, and best limited series.

Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage, Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale, and Olive Kitteridge’s Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins and Bill Murray all won acting awards.

Game of Thrones set a record this year with 12 wins, and led the field with 24 nominations.