Nancy Lee Grahn, known for her role as Alexis Davis on General Hospital, spent the night of the Emmy awards fending off followers who insist that she is racist. Following Viola Davis’ historic win for Best Actress, making her the first black woman to receive the honor, Grahn tweeted the following:
“I wish I loved #ViolaDavis speech, but I thought she should have let @shondarhimes write it. #Emmys”
“Im a f—ing actress for 40 yrs. None of us get respect or opportunity we deserve. Emmys not venue for racial opportunity. ALL women belittled.”
The second tweet has since been deleted, but her message was pretty clear and the backlash she received feels pretty justified. Grahn must have realized as well because she did some serious backpedaling as the night continued.
Initially, she responded to some people directly implying that overcoming discrimination had nothing to do with Davis’ success, but rather luck was on her side when landing such great roles. However, she quickly recanted her insensitive comments, apologizing for mocking Davis’ win, while still not seeing the major flaw in her comments.
“Viola Davis winning lead actress Emmys historic. My upset is acting awards don’t fix racial injustice. As an actor I see how irrelevant we are. Never meant to diminish her accomplishment. I wish I could get her roles. She is a goddess. I want equality 4 all women-not just actors.”
There are several major issues with Grahn’s tweets, and it’s not exactly the content because in actuality there is inequality among women, whether in show business or everyday life. That is not being debated. However, the significance of Davis’ accomplishment at the Emmy’s extends beyond just women’s inequalities. It involves the very same argument that evolves when people response to Black Lives Matter with All Lives Matter. Nobody is saying that all lives do not matter or in this case that all actresses don’t matter, but the former movement is routed in something very different and the response sort of undermines the movement. As well, I don’t feel the implication of Davis’ speech was that her award fixes racial inequality, but maybe Grahn heard something else.
Secondly, Grahn stumbles over her own words tweet after tweet and she comes across as contradicting and her apologies come across as stubborn and still ignorant to the issues I just previously mentioned.
In any case, Grahn definitely took a loss here whether she wants to believe that or not. I don’t think she’s a racist, but I do think she mouthed off at the wrong place at an even worse time. As for Viola Davis, she’s basking in her glory right now, and rightfully so.