The 2017 Emmys marked an all-around entertaining evening, with first-time host Stephen Colbert in prime form as emcee and a plethora of the year’s finest television programs picking up well-earned prizes. The Emmy Awards ceremony certainly did not disappoint when it came to riveting acceptance speeches. Some were inspirational and heart-wrenching and others outrageously funny. There were, no surprise, a few politically charged moments as well.
Let’s take a look back at five of the Emmys most memorable ‘thank you’s.
Drama Supporting Actress: Ann Dowd (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
Dowd, this year a double nominee (here and in Drama Guest Actress for “The Leftovers”), seemed as shocked as Emmy pundits when she scored an upset over category favorites Thandie Newton (“Westworld”) and Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”). The veteran actress, who portrays the domineering Aunt Lydia on the Hulu series, delivered a warm, heartfelt acceptance speech, thanking the cast and crew of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and her husband and children. Dowd said “I think this is a dream…I’ve been acting for a long time and that this should happen now, I don’t have the words.”
Comedy Writing: Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe (“Master of None”)
History was made on Emma night as Lena Waithe became the first African-American woman to emerge triumphant in the category of Comedy Writing. Sharing the prize with “Master of None” leading man Ansari (who won this prize last year, alongside Alan Yang), Waithe thanked her mom for inspiring the episode “Thanksgiving” and expressed her love for the LGBTQIA community, saying “the things that make us different, those are our super powers.” Waithe also praised the Emmys for “embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a little queer black girl from the south side of Chicago.”
Limited Series Actress: Nicole Kidman (“Big Little Lies”)
Kidman, taking home an Emmy to go alongside her Oscar (for 2002’s “The Hours”), delivered an immensely moving speech, paying tribute to her “Big Little Lies” co-stars, husband Keith Urban and children. She also used the occasion to shine a spotlight on domestic violence (to which her character Celeste Wright is subjected), calling it “a complicated, insidious disease” that “exists far more than we allow ourselves to know.”
Limited Series Actor: Riz Ahmed (“The Night Of”)
Ahmed, also a double nominee this year (here and in Comedy Guest Actor for “Girls”), gave a shout out in his acceptance speech to South Asian Youth Action and The Innocence Project for helping him prepare for his turn as Nasir ‘Naz’ Khan on the HBO limited series. He said, “It is always strange reaping the rewards of a story based on real world suffering but if this show has shown a light on some of the prejudice in our societies, xenophobia and some of the injustice in our justice system, then maybe that is something.”
Comedy Supporting Actor: Alec Baldwin (“Saturday Night Live”)
Baldwin, picking up his third career Emmy win, this time for his much-discussed portrayal of President Donald Trump, “shared” his victory with Trump, who himself went 0-for-2 at the Emmys for “The Apprentice” (in Best Reality Series in 2004 and 2005). On why he and his wife did not have a baby this year, Baldwin cracked that “you put that orange wig on and it’s birth control,” and, on a deeper note, the actor proclaimed that “when you die, you do not remember a law or politician. You remember a book, a poem or a song.” Baldwin concluded by telling Emmy attendees “don’t stop what you are doing. The audience is counting on you.”