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Viola Davis, ‘Bamboozled,’ and the Impossible Standard

On Sunday night, Viola Davis accepted the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her ABC crime drama How to Get Away With Murder. Davis then unleashed a powerful acceptance speech in which she quoted Harriet Tubman’s famous remarks about an “invisible line” separating her from white women. Davis took Hollywood to task for the paucity of roles that minorities, and particularly minority women, have available to them. “You cannot win Emmys,” she told the audience at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, “for roles that are not there.”

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