At least one person was not a fan of Viola Davis' Emmys acceptance speech. Soap star Nancy Lee Grahn wrote a series of tweets on Sunday, Sept. 20, ripping Davis' emotional, winning moment onstage during the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards.
"I wish I loved #ViolaDavis Speech," wrote Grahn, 57, who's best known for her portrayal as Alexis Cassadine on General Hospital. "But I thought she should have let @shondarhimes write it."
Davis, 50, reduced the audience to tears after becoming the first black woman ever to win the Emmy for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series. "The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is simply opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there," the How to Get Away With Murder actress said as she received a standing ovation. "So here's to all the writers, the awesome people — people who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black."
Grahn then took to her verified Twitter account and railed against Davis. "Im a f–king actress for 40 yrs. None of us get respect or opportunity we deserve. Emmys not venue 4 racial opportunity. ALL women belittled," she wrote in a now-deleted tweet that was captured by BuzzFeed.
The soap star even suggested that Davis hasn't experienced discrimination in Hollywood. "I think she's the bees knees but she's elite of TV performers," she tweeted to a fan. "Brilliant as she is. She has never been discriminated against."
After receiving immediate backlash from the Internet, Grahn issued an apology. "I never mean to diminish her accomplishment. I wish I could get her roles. She is a goddess. I want equality 4 ALL women, not just actors," she wrote. "I apologize 2 anyone who I offended. I'm women advocate since I became one. After reading responses, I hear u and my tweet was badly phrased."
She followed up with a lengthier apology. "I apologize for my earlier tweets and now realize I need to check my own privilege," Grahn wrote. "My intention was not to take this historic and important moment from Viola Davis or other women of color but I realize that my intention doesn't matter here because that is what I ended up doing. I learned a lot tonight and I admit that there are still some things I don't understand but I am trying to and will let this be a learning experience for me."
Meanwhile, many celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Sean "Diddy" Combs, and Shonda Rhimes took to social media on Sunday night to support Davis and her big win. "Wow , WOW! Another proud to spell my name W.O.M.A.N. Moment," Winfrey noted. "Thank you @violadavis #EmmyWinner."