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Viola Davis Responds to Nancy Lee Grahn's Controversial Tweets About Her Emmys Speech

Viola Davis Responds to Nancy Lee Grahn's Controversial Tweets About Her Emmys Speech

Viola Davis is opening up about comments made by General Hospital actress Nancy Lee Grahn about her inspirational acceptance speech at the 2015 Emmy Awards.

“If there has been any backlash, it’s that all people want to feel included in a speech,” the 50-year-old How to Get Away With Murder star told The New York Times. “I know there has been some backlash with an actress who didn’t feel she was included.”

When asked if she was referring to Nancy Lee, Viola said, “Yes. I don’t know that I want to say more about that.”

Nancy Lee originally wrote, “Try being any woman in TV. Wish she’d brought every woman in the picture. I wish I’d opportunity to play roles she has gets…Harriet Tubman not equivalent to great roles Viola Davis hired 2play. She’s made millions. It is unfair comparison.”

She has since apologized and deleted the tweets.

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: 2015 Emmy Awards, Nancy Lee Grahn, Viola Davis

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  • http://www.soundcloud.com/cigo8179 Christopher I. Gomes

    nlg, this is the most press you will ever receive in your life!!!!

  • Legendary Trolly

    I am black, and I agree with Nancy! Viola is doing very good. She was complaining about nothing IMO

  • ELEVATION X

    So, a communist black african getting more rights and job opportunities than anyone else is alright, but a non-communist non-black non-african speaking up for her rights is wrong and is autocratically entitled to nothing. Viola Davis must think she’s some kind of black god given to The Earth as a gift from planet Negro. Viola Davis is lucky she has a life to live being the communist black african in America and all the Free World that she really and truly is. If Viola Davis hates America so much then she has the communist black african freedom to return to her africa and never again set foot within America. This does indeed work both ways.

  • ELEVATION X

    You mean just like you, your obama and all your black people who traditionally hate everybody by their very nature?

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/cigo8179 Christopher I. Gomes

    White ppl wanna be oppressed so bad. Yeah, the whole black race will evaporate along with my post. Thanks, genius!

  • Derp

    NOW BACK TO THIS BITCH THAT HAD A LOT TO SAY ABOUT ME IN THE PRESS, NANCY LEE, WHAT’S GOOD???

  • Gina

    Viola Davis only started gaining success fairly recently. Her career started taking off in her forties. If she were a white, pretty young thing, her success would have come MUCH earlier in her career. It says a lot about how racist America is that her first breakout role was in a movie playing a maid. Her recent role as a lead actress in a prime time show only happened because a black woman (named Shonda Rimes) gave her such a wonderful opportunity to play that role. Had it not been for Shonda, the role would have most definitely been given to a white woman. Nancy has been lucky enough to play a lead actress in a long running soap opera; a black woman would NEVER have gotten that opportunity & you know it. Viola had every right to complain about it taking 50 years to gain this level of success when it comes much easier to white women because they are afforded more opportunities.

  • Legendary Trolly

    Every actress is not the same. Its a million white and black actresses that are struggling today dude! And you mentioned Shonda right? All the black directors overlook white actors and are biased for black actors! Tyler tried to mix it up a bit, but they all are giving roles to blacks more than whites!

  • Legendary Trolly

    Every actress is not the same. Its a million white and black actresses that are struggling today dude! And you mentioned Shonda right? All the black directors overlook white actors and are biased for black actors! Tyler tried to mix it up a bit, but they all are giving roles to blacks more than whites!

  • Legendary Trolly

    Every actress is not the same. Its a million white and black actresses that are struggling today dude! And you mentioned Shonda right? All the black directors overlook white actors and are biased for black actors! Tyler tried to mix it up a bit, but they all are giving roles to blacks more than whites!

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  • Gina

    No “dude”, wrong again. Statistically speaking, there are more available roles for white women than there are for black women. Fact. So a black woman gaining success is a triumph because the odds are stacked against her even more than they are for a white woman. I don’t see a problem with black directors hiring black actors, they are making up for lost time. Black actors have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to having success in Hollywood. You call it bias, I call it balancing the scales. Besides, who cares if black directors only hire black actors? There are only a handful of black directors in Hollywood anyways, so what difference does it really make on a larger scale? Most directors are white and they mostly hire white people. Is that fair?? At least Shonda has a diverse cast.

  • Legendary Trolly

    I would have to go and do my own research, before we start talking stats! But point Im making is; Viola is doing WAAAY better than Nancy Lee! Viola isnt in a place to complain, and her speech made her look unintelligent! Her reply makes it seem like she feels stoopid about race baiting!

  • Gina

    Go ahead, do your stats (although all you really need is common sense and an unbiased opinion). Comparing Nancy, a soap opera star, to Viola, a prime time actresses, is like comparing apples & oranges. In the soap opera world, Nancy is doing ‘WAAAY’ better than any black actress in that realm. Just because you think Viola is doing ‘WAAAY’ better than Nancy, doesn’t mean black actresses as a whole are doing better than white actresses as a whole. Viola is a rare case which is why she is getting so much attention for winning that Emmy. A white actress winning it would have been the norm, thus causing less fanfare. This is exactly why Viola made the speech she did, she wasn’t complaining, she was speaking to the inequalities that make it so rare for black women to win these awards. She wasn’t just thinking of herself, she was thinking of all of them. Denying racial inequality is a form of racism that you are clearly exhibiting.

  • Legendary Trolly

    These actresses will take any good gig they can get! Viola cant speak for struggling black actresses because she aint a struggling black actress! She was simply race baiting, which allot of us have a habit of doing!

  • Gina

    Are you kidding me? Viola Davis was a struggling black actress for DECADES until she finally started getting recognition! How can you be so painfully blind and willfully ignorant? She wasn’t race baiting she was relating to all the struggling black actresses out there. Just because she is now FINALLY successful, doesn’t mean she’s gonna forget about them. She was trying to bring awareness & not leave them behind just because she herself gained some success. What is wrong with you? (Also, don’t lie and say you’re black when you’re not).

  • Legendary Trolly

    Everyone’s a struggling actress before they make it, black or white! How do you know she failed because she was black dude? Lol Why didnt black directors put her in films? Maybe she failed because of her looks, or maybe her skills werent developed yet! And btw, idiot I am black as a mofo dude! But I dont race bait! Viola simply made it when she made it! It happened when it happened! Blaming things on race, when that may not be the case, is lame, and alienating other races! Thats why Nancy spoke out! The speech made her feel left out! No one is blind, or ignorant! You all are just deluded into this way of thinking, that when a person disagrees, their in the wrong! Im proud to be black, but Im not obsessed with it!

  • Gina

    If you were in fact a proud black person, there is no way in hell you would blatantly deny & disregard the strife of black people and knock a black woman down for standing up for us. There is no way in hell you would applaud Nancy who also ignored the black struggle and somehow made Viola’s accomplishment about herself. The award wasn’t for Nancy, or other races, the award was for Viola and all the other black girls coming up who are very rarely treated the same as white women. (P.S There are hardly any black directors to begin with let alone ones able to put Viola in films. Ask yourself why white directors didn’t put her in films) Your denial that racism exists disgusts me. You might as well be waving the Confederate Flag.

  • Legendary Trolly

    Get it through your thick head moron! Their is no strife for black people and she isnt standing up for us! She chose to be an actor, and it was just as hard for her as it was for the next person! Im working 9 to 5, she is rich, she not standing for us!

    As far as Nancy, she didnt ignore any imaginative black struggle! Our problem is staying our azzes out of jail! We are the smallest percentage in the us, yet we take up half of the prison population and we cry and complain and play victim! Viola isnt a black actress who had trouble finding work due to her race! She simply made it, when she made it! She is very successful! As I said prior(which u ignored), how do you know her unattractive looks didnt keep her from getting work? Or maybe her acting skills?

    Show me handwritten letters that hollywood Executives wrote to her, telling her that because she is black, they wont put her in movies! Oh I forgot, their is none! It was another cheap race bait! And her ASSUMING, which left other races feeling alienated! And why Didnt Spike Lee put her in movies? John Singlton can put her in movies, Lee Daniels? F Gary Gray? If its not allot of black directors, then why didnt the small amount of them, put her in movies?

    And Maybe white directors didnt put her in films because of her looks, or her acting skills! Can you post a link of white directors saying they refuse to work with her because of her skin color? No? Because it doesnt exist! Its just our people causing more problems!

    And guess what? Racism is growing today, you know why? Because whites get tired of our criminal behavior, and they hate how we race bait! They HATE the race baiting! Nancy called out Viola for making it a race thing, which left Nancy feeling left out! Then a bunch of race baiting blacks, attacked Nancy on twitter! Nancy may not like blacks as much after that! You need to educate yaself dude! Im proud to be black, but Im not obsessed with it, and I dont give speeches delving into my skin color! I want all the races united as one, so I can get some more of this white poosay!

  • Gina

    White directors will NEVER admit to being racist. Do you really think they have the balls to tell someone to their face that they won’t hire them because they are black?? Gimme a break. I hope to God you aren’t really this dumb. If you aren’t white, then you are a self-hating black person, that much is crystal clear. A lot of black people are in jail because the prison system is a business and locking up as many black people as possible keeps the system going. They have harsher penalties for black people. FACT. Police purposely patrol black neighborhoods looking to arrest people. FACT. Many black people commit crimes in part because of their environment; an environment that exists due to the oppression caused by a racist societal structure. FACT. You are the one who needs to educate themselves. You think like a damn child. Talking about racism IS NOT race baiting. Just because you hate yourself for being black, doesn’t mean everybody else has to.

  • Legendary Trolly

    So you mean they never said they refused to work with her because of race? You mean to tell me that you made it all Up? And it was just another race bait? Just as I thought! And calling me dumb just because your mad about being wrong! If your wrong, just admit it and move along dude! Their was never any proof that directors refrained from working with her because of her race! It could’ve been her looks or her skills(which you ignored again)

    And Im not self hating, I just dont make a big deal about being black! My skin color means nothing! If I were white or mexican, it wouldnt make a difference to me! Some of you are OBSESSED with being black! You all sound crazy, thats the reason racism is coming back! Other races HATE us over it!

    Blacks are in jail, is because we have a habit of breaking the rules! All we do is gangbang, shoot guns, sell dope! And the rest of us cry and complain to distract from the reputation we earned! If cops patrol black areas, and racially profile, who cares? You cant blame them for being strategic! We do all the illegal shiet, so they feel that they are simply playing chess! If it looks like a duck, quack like a duck, and the cops want to go mess with it to see if its a duck or not, and it turns out to not be a duck, you cant blame them for wanting to be steps ahead of the game!

    We earned a reputation, and we just have to live with it!

    Many blacks commit crimes, because allot of us are fools! We do what we see the next person doing! I get up off my butt, and go and get it dude!

    I like how you ignored some of my fire so I will just copy and paste here; whites get tired of our criminal behavior, and they hate how we race bait! They HATE the race baiting! Nancy called out Viola for making it a race thing, which left Nancy feeling left out! Then a bunch of race baiting blacks, attacked Nancy on twitter! Nancy may not like blacks as much after that! You need to educate yaself dude! Im proud to be black, but Im not obsessed with it, and I dont give speeches delving into my skin color! I want all the races united as one, so I can get some more of this white poosay

  • Gina

    I am not wrong & I didn’t ignore anything you moron! I said, calling out racism is NOT race baiting. YOU are the one that’s race baiting by perpetuating and believing black stereotypes! I hope you get wrongfully arrested and beaten by a cop one day. I’ll just laugh and say ‘I told you so’. LOL.
    Directors don’t have to admit to being racist, they prove it through their actions, you idiot. Hiring a white person instead of a black person who is just as qualified, if not more, is racist. Do you need me to draw you a picture dummy?? I’m not saying that all directors are racist, but too many of them can’t see past color. I’m not saying that Viola is the right actress for ALL of the roles she auditioned for, but I’m damn sure she may have been right for a lot but didn’t get the job because of her skin color.
    Being aware of and speaking out about racism is not being obsessed with being black, it’s standing up for oneself and for what’s right. It’s about loving yourself and who you are and demanding to be treated with respect. I see now that you do not love or respect yourself, you can’t even stand the sight of your own skin color so you ignore it. I feel sorry for you. You need to go get some help. Self-hatred is a terrible thing.
    Talking to you is like talking to a brick wall (only brick walls are smarter). I feel like your stupidity is rubbing off on me so I will no longer respond to you. I hope you educate yourself and learn to love yourself. Goodbye & God bless, you poor fool.

  • Gina

    I am not wrong & I didn’t ignore anything you moron! I said, calling out racism is NOT race baiting. YOU are the one that’s race baiting by perpetuating and believing black stereotypes! I hope you get wrongfully arrested and beaten by a cop one day. I’ll just laugh and say ‘I told you so’. LOL.
    Directors don’t have to admit to being racist, they prove it through their actions, you idiot. Hiring a white person instead of a black person who is just as qualified, if not more, is racist. Do you need me to draw you a picture dummy?? I’m not saying that all directors are racist, but too many of them can’t see past color. I’m not saying that Viola is the right actress for ALL of the roles she auditioned for, but I’m damn sure she may have been right for a lot but didn’t get the job because of her skin color.
    Being aware of and speaking out about racism is not being obsessed with being black, it’s standing up for oneself and for what’s right. It’s about loving yourself and who you are and demanding to be treated with respect. I see now that you do not love or respect yourself, you can’t even stand the sight of your own skin color so you ignore it. I feel sorry for you. You need to go get some help. Self-hatred is a terrible thing.
    Talking to you is like talking to a brick wall (only brick walls are smarter). I feel like your stupidity is rubbing off on me so I will no longer respond to you. I hope you educate yourself and learn to love yourself. Goodbye & God bless, you poor fool.

  • Legendary Trolly

    As I said before, No one can prove that Viola’s race is the reason she didnt get roles! We dont know if her skills werent their yet, or her if her looks kept her from getting jobs! And since you cant prove that Directors refrained from working with her due to her race, its all just assumption! She got on stage and decided that her race was the reason she couldnt get a job! Which is race baiting! This is all most blacks do, and it offends other races!

    And I have never seen cops beat up anyone who didnt deserve it! I see people resisting arrest, and pushing these cops to the edge, then the cops put a hot rock straight through their dome! When the cops mess with me, I do what Im told and never had any problems!

    But since you hate the cops, then make a promise to yourself! If you ever need them, you refuse to call them for help right? Because if you dont, then you are a hypocrite! So if you come home and find that your sister has been kidnapped, you will not ask the cops to assist you right? I commend you if you make that promise Because its a shame how people depend on them, yet lie like they are going around hunting blacks! I have NEVER seen a cop kneegrohunting Lol

    Directors would HAVE to be racist, if they go around looking for blacks to hire! Their is zero proof that directors EVER refused to work with Viola due to her race! Its something that she made up! You didnt post a link of any director saying he wouldnt work with her because of her race, because their is no proof! It was simply a race bait!

    Im 100% positive that her race NEVER caused her to lose a role, unless she was auditioning to play a mother in a white family! And when they told her dumbazz “No” she ran out the room screaming racism! She made it all up in her head!

    Their is nothing to be aware about! Their is no racism that she spoke about! We nor she knows why she didnt get roles! She simply decided in her head, that it was a race issue, which is race baiting! When Nancy called her out about it, a bunch of race-baiting-kneegros attacked her, and now she probably dislikes blacks even more! Non-blacks HATE our criminal behavior, and they HATE how we make everything about race!(You ignored this again)

    You dont think I hate myself, so why sit up here and lie as if I did? Lol You calling me names because your frustrated about me being smarter than you, will get you nowhere!

    Hopefully you learn that being black is not the end all-be all! I want everyone united! Blacks, whites, mexicans! But your behavior is just alienating us more and more!

    I hope you figure it out my lil dawg! No beef, nice tlk, tnx!