Emmy 2021 Winners: Memorable Acceptance Speeches from Female Winners

2021 emmys speech Michaela Coel

Welcome back, Hollywooders. If you’re anything like us, you’re still recovering from last night’s 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards. We were busy live-tweeting up a storm! If you want to relive last night or if you happened to miss TV’s big bash, check out some of our favorite speeches by female winners.

Memorable Acceptance Speeches: Michaela Coel

Michaela Coel made history last night by being the first Black female writer to win the award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her smash hit show, I May Destroy You. Michaela created, executive produced, wrote, co-directed, and starred in the BBC/HBO show, which premiered in June of 2020.

During her emotional acceptance speech, which was one of the shortest of the evening, Michaela Coel delivered a message to writers:

“Write the tale that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that isn’t comfortable… Visibility these days seems to equate to success. Do not be afraid to disappear from it, from us for a while, and see what comes to you in the silence.”

Michaela concluded her speech by saying, “I dedicate this story to every single survivor of sexual assault.”

I May Destroy You is loosely based on Michaela’s own sexual assault in 2016, an experience that shaped her creation of the show’s main character, Arabella (a performance for which Michaela received a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie). Although the series was nominated for 9 Emmy Awards last night, it won only 2. In addition to Michaela’s Emmy, I May Destroy You also received an award for Outstanding Music Supervision.

The show was unceremoniously snubbed earlier this year at the Golden Globes, an omission that did not go unnoticed by either fans or critics. Perhaps that’s why Michaela’s win received a mass standing ovation from those present at last night’s Emmys.

Also, can we just say, we absolutely loved Cynthia Erivo hyping up Michaela Coel before Michaela took to the stage to deliver her acceptance speech! Were we the only ones with goosebumps? We love to see it!

Memorable Acceptance Speeches: Kate Winslet

In one of the most memorable speeches of the evening, Kate Winslet accepted her award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for Mare of Easttown. She beat out both Michaela Coel and Cynthia Erivo, along with fellow nominees Elizabeth Olsen and Anya Taylor-Joy.

In the crime drama series Mare of Easttown, Kate Winslet plays detective Mare Sheehan. While trying to solve the case of a murdered teenager, Mare faces personal demons.

Kate Winslet began her speech by crediting the show’s writer, Brad Ingelsby, saying, “You created a middle-aged, imperfect, flawed mother and you made us all feel validated, quite honestly.”

She also shouted out her fellow nominees. “In this decade that has to be about women having each other’s backs,” Kate continued. “I support you. I salute you. I’m proud of all of you.”

The poignance and irreverence in Kate’s speech left everyone even happier than they were before she took the stage.

This was Kate Winslet’s second Emmy (she previously won for Mildred Pierce) and her fourth nomination. Mare of Easttown also won 2 additional acting awards last night. Kate’s co-stars Evan Peters and Julianne Nicholson picked up Emmy’s for their work on the show too.

Memorable Acceptance Speeches: Hannah Waddingham

West-End triple-threat Hannah Waddingham took home the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, for her role as Rebecca Welton in Ted Lasso. 

When receiving her award, Hannah said, “This single mum wouldn’t be standing here without you… You’ve changed my life with this and more importantly my baby girl’s.”

Her co-star Juno Temple was also nominated in the same category. However, judging from their celebratory body language, the 2 seem to be close friends, and Juno was visibly elated for her castmate.

Memorable Acceptance Speeches: Debbie Allen

Legendary choreographer, actress, and director Debbie Allen received this year’s Governor’s Award. She, too, made Emmy’s history last night for being the first Black woman to receive the distinction. The talented showbiz veteran has had a long and successful career. Some of her best-known work includes choreographing and acting in the 1980s TV series Fame, as well as directing multiple episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, and appearing as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance.

Not only has Debbie earned 5 other Emmys during her stardom but she also has 2 Tony Awards, a Golden Globe, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that has existed since before some of last night’s nominees were even born (thus cementing her status as an absolute legend!).

In her powerful speech, Debbie said, “Let this moment resonate with women… across this country and across the world, from Texas to Afghanistan.” She also called on women to, “Claim your power, claim your voice, say your song, tell your stories. It will make us a better place. Your turn.”

Memorable Acceptance Speeches: Olivia Colman

Netflix’s The Crown had an amazing night at the 2021 Emmy’s awards. Not only did the show win the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, it also swept the Drama Series acting categories and took home awards for directing and writing. Included in the wins was Olivia Colman who received an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role of Queen Elizabeth II. While Olivia has thrice been nominated, this was her first Emmy’s win.

Fun fact: Claire Foy won the same award in 2018 for playing a younger Queen Elizabeth in season two of The Crown. This is the first time that 2 different actresses have won Emmy awards for playing the same character on the same show. Cool, right?

The cast and crew of The Crown weren’t in attendance at the Los Angeles event but were gathered together in London to watch the live broadcast. While it might have been late (or very early morning) in England, it was certainly worth staying up for all their wins!

Olivia made her acceptance speech short and sweet as she said she was very teary. “I wish my dad was here to see this… I lost my daddy during COVID and he would have loved all of this,” the actress announced. However, Olivia’s final words were a boisterous shout-out to Michaela Coel (with words we can’t say on Hollywood.com!).

Do you have any favorite Emmy moments from last night that we missed? Tweet us @hollywood_com to share the moments that reminded you why you love Hollywood.

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