Viola Davis’ Powerful SAG Awards Speech Might Make You Cry

by Leanne Aguilera 8:00 PM PST, January 25, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

There’s no doubt in our minds — that was the best speech of the night!

Viola Davis stole the spotlight at the 2015 Screen Actors Guild awards when she won Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Drama for her work on the freshman drama How to Get Away With Murder.

The second-time winner took the stage in a gorgeous white gown, and spoke of how her 4-year-old daughter, Genesis, asks for bedtime stories – but that she always includes one special request: “Mommy, can you put me in the story?”

Davis said, “It starts from the top up,” and thanked HTGAWM's executive producer Shonda Rhimes and creator Pete Nowalk. "Thank you… for thinking that a sexualized, messy, mysterious woman, could be a 49-year-old dark-skinned African-American woman who looks like me."

With tears in her eyes, the star continued, "Thank you to all the people who love me, exactly how God made me."

PHOTOS: See All the Stars at the 2015 SAG Awards!


Since the Screen Actors Guild Awards were first established in 1995, only three women of color have won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Viola Davis, Chandra Wilson in 2006 for Grey’s Anatomy, and Sandra Oh in 2005 for Grey’s Anatomy — all stars hailed from shows produced by Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland.

Davis beat out Claire Danes (Homeland), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey), and Robin Wright (House of Cards). While many fans, including this writer, were hoping that Orphan Black's Maslany was going to snag a victory tonight, Davis' speech proved that she deserved this win just as much, if not more.

Much like Gina Rodriguez at the 2015 Golden Globe Awards, Davis chose to use her acceptance speech as a platform for promoting racial equality and embracing diversity on the small screen, and she did it with grace.

What did you think of Viola Davis' SAG speech? Shout out your thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #ETSAG!