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Best Lines From Emmy Acceptance Speeches

Alex Borstein draws applause
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2019 8:59 PM CDT
Billy Porter accepts the award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for "Pose" at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
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(Newser) – Among the most moving, poignant lines from Sunday night's Emmy winners:

  • From Alex Borstein, who won the best supporting comedy actress award. Per ET: "My grandparents are immigrants; they are Holocaust survivors. My grandmother turned to a guard—she was in line to be shot into a pit—and she said, 'What happens if I step out of line?' and he said, 'I don't have the heart to shoot you but somebody will.' And she stepped out of line. And for that, I am here. And for that, my children are here. So step out of line, ladies. Step out of line!"
  • From Patricia Arquette, who won the best supporting actress in a limited series award, on her late sister, Alexis, who died in 2016. Per Variety: "I just have to say I’m grateful to be working, I’m grateful at 50 to be getting the best parts of my life. But in my heart I’m so sad. ... Trans people are still being persecuted. I’m in mourning every day of my life, Alexis, and I will be for the rest of my life for you until we change the world so trans people are not persecuted. And give them jobs. They’re human beings, let’s get rid of this bias we have everywhere."

  • From Michelle Williams, who won best lead actress in a limited series. Per ET Online and Rolling Stone: "I see this as an example of what's possible when a woman is trusted and feels safe enough to voice her needs and is respected enough to be heard. When I asked for more dance classes, I heard ‘Yes.' More voice lessons, ‘Yes.' A different wig, a pair of fake teeth that weren’t made out of rubber, ‘Yes.’ And all of these things, they require effort, and they cost more money, but my bosses never presumed to know better than I did about what I needed in order to do my job and honor Gwen Verdon. Thank you so much to FX for paying me equally. Because they understood that when you put value into a person, it empowers that person to get in touch with their own inherent value. And where do they put that value? They put it into their work. And so the next time a woman, and especially a woman of color—because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar compared to her white male counterpart—tells you what she needs in order to do her job, listen to her. Believe her. Because one day she might stand in front of you and say, ‘Thank you,’ for allowing her to succeed because of her workplace environment, and not in spite of it."
  • From Billy Porter, who made history as the first openly gay man to win best actor in a drama series: "We are the people. We as artists are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet. Please don’t ever stop doing that. Please don’t ever stop telling the truth." He also quoted James Baldwin's 1960 essay "They Can't Turn Back," saying: "It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as if I had a right to be here." He added: "I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."
(Read more Emmy Awards stories.)

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