Soap opera actress Nancy Lee Grahn is checking her white privilege after expressing her displeasure with Viola Davis’s primetime Emmy awards speech.
Davis made history Sunday night by becoming the first black actress to win the Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series award for her work on How to Get Away with Murder.
“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity,” said Davis during her acceptance speech. “You cannot win Emmys with roles that are simply not there.”
Davis also quoted Harriet Tubman during her remarks.
Grahn, the 57-year-old General Hospital co-star, wasn’t a fan of the speech, tweeting, “I wish I loved #ViolaDavis speech.”
The soap star then said Davis should have let show creator Shonda Rhymes write the speech, before igniting a Twitter firestorm.
“Emmys not venue 4 racial opportunity,” she wrote in a tweet that was later deleted.
After she came under fire for the tweets, Grahn changed her tune, and described Davis as “a goddess,” and blamed her word choices on her own “privilege,” but she accepted the damage was done.
“I apologize for my earlier tweets and now realize I need to check my own privilege. My intention was not to take this historic and important moment from Viola Davis or other women of color but I realize that my intention doesn’t matter here because that is what I ended up doing. I learned a lot tonight and I admit that there are still some things I don’t understand but I am trying to and will let this be a learning experience for me,” said the actress.
Despite the apology, Grahn then concluded her decades of goodwill had been nullified by the tweets:
Grahn went after Sarah and Bristol Palin in 2012, describing the mother and daughter as racists.
— Nancy Lee Grahn (@NancyLeeGrahn) October 24, 2012