Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's Emmys Speech Thanking 'All The Black Women In My Life' Has Twitter Melting

Savannah Walsh
·3 mins read


Yahya Abdul-Mateen II earned an Emmy for playing the dual roles of Cal Abar and Doctor Manhattan on HBO's Watchmen. But he won over the internet for his heartfelt acceptance speech for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series.

Wearing a pinstriped Louis Vuitton suit, Abdul-Mateen began his virtual speech by thanking his parents and hometowns of West Oakland and New Orleans. He then paid tribute to Watchmen creator Damen Lindelof and his Emmy-winning co-star Regina King. But it was the powerful conclusion to his remarks, an ode to the themes of Watchmen and all of the Black women in Abdul-Mateen's life, that had people talking:

Watchmen was a story about trauma. It was a story about the lasting scars of white domestic terrorism. It was a story about police corruption and brutality. But in the midst of all that, it was also a story about a god who came down to Earth to reciprocate to a Black woman all the love that she deserves. He'd offer her sacrifice and support, passion, protection. And he did all of this in the body of a Black man, and I'm so proud that I was able to walk into those shoes. So, I dedicate this award to all of the Black women in my life. The people who believed in me first—I call you my early investors. I love you. I appreciate you. And this one is for you.

It was a significant moment in a year where 10 of the 19 performer categories were won by Black actors, according to The Wrap. Zendaya became only the second Black woman in the Emmys' 72-year history to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her performance in Euphoria, following Viola Davis' How to Get Away With Murder win in 2015. It's a stat that signals this year's crop of winners are only one step forward for an industry that must be committed to true representation.

Many on Twitter found Abdul-Mateen's recognition of the Black women in his life to be an important moment in the telecast. And more than a few viewers pondered how they could become a part of the Emmy winner's inner circle. Ahead, some of the best social media reactions to his empowering speech.

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