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Emmy Awards diverse performers in wake of criticism
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The Emmy Awards made history during its recent ceremony when it gave Viola Davis its best actress in a drama award the first time an African-American woman has been awarded the honor. - photo by Chandra Johnson
The Emmy Awards made history during its recent ceremony when it gave Viola Davis its best actress in a drama award the first time an African-American woman has been awarded the honor.

Davis' acceptance speech highlighted the lack of diversity in Hollywood and awards shows that led some to criticize recent winners at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes.

"The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity," Davis said. "You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.

Other winners of color included Uzo Aduba for her supporting role in Netflix's "Orange is the New Black."

Not everyone was so thrilled with the Emmy's recognition of black performers, however. "General Hospital" actress Nancy Lee Grahn decried Davis' win as a sign the Emmys were defaulting to political correctness.

"None of us get respect or opportunity we deserve. Emmys not venue 4 racial opportunity," Grahn wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted but was captured online.

But in giving Davis the award, the Atlantic argued, the Emmys weren't just rewarding a talented actress for a job well done, they were rewarding diversity that Hollywood has been slow to embrace a small but important step forward.

"The idea that a few memorable speeches and deserved trophies will solve the television industrys ills is of course ludicrous," The Atlantic's David Sims wrote. "But theres no questioning the power of awards show pageantry, which can disrupt the status quo as easily as affirm it."