Zendaya, Lizzo, Quinta Brunson, and more all took home awards for television’s biggest night.
When it came time to honor diverse stories and voices in television at this year’s Emmy Awards, the television academy finally put their money where their mouth is.
On Monday night, Lizzo, Zendaya, Quinta Brunson, and Sheryl Lee Ralph all took home awards, making it a major moment for Black women in Hollywood. Sheryl Lee Ralph was the first major win of the evening, winning the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Barbara Howard in ABC’s breakout sitcom Abbott Elementary, followed by Lizzo winning her first ever Emmy Award (and being halfway to an EGOT!) for Best Competition Series for her Prime Video show Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls. Ralph began her acceptance speech with a rousing impromptu performance of Dianne Reeve’s “Endangered Species” that brought the audience to their feet, while Lizzo reflected on being able to pave the way for diverse storytelling onscreen in hers.
Later in the evening, Zendaya accepted her second Emmy award for her starring role in the HBO drama Euphoria. She won her first Emmy back in 2020 (with a virtual ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic) for the same acclaimed role.
“I just wanna say my greatest wish for Euphoria is that it would help heal people,” said Zendaya during her speech. “I want to say thank you to everyone who has ever shared their story with me and I want anyone who has ever loved a Rue or feels like they are a Rue, I want them to know I am so grateful for your stories and I carry them with me and I carry them with her.”
It was also a memorable night for Abbott Elementary star and creator Quinta Brunson. The actress took home her first ever Emmy for Best Writing for a Comedy Series for the show’s pilot episode.
Brunson previously spoke about her reaction to the unexpected success of Abbott Elementary.
“To have only had a few episodes [air] and just for it to be an abundance of love, conversation, and just enjoyment of the show is just so, like, I don’t know. I am just so happy, so overwhelmed,” she said. “It was weird to feel like I had to pull back from Twitter because of too much positivity. I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do with so many nice messages and nice comments…[but] there’s so much more for people to see that I hope they enjoy.”