Inspiring speeches on diversity, equal pay rule Emmy night
Emmy night is always a chaotic mix of the humorous, the emotional and the inspirational, mixed with some major sequins and glitter. And on this Emmy night, all those elements came together in one glorious moment: Billy Porter's win as best actor in a drama for "Pose," the first openly gay actor to win the award.
But Porter's speech wasn't the only knock-your-socks-off moment. Michelle Williams gave the audience an eloquent and impassioned lesson on the importance of equal pay for women, especially women of color.
And Patricia Arquette paid tearful tribute to her late transgender sister, issuing a rousing call for better treatment of transgender people.
Some key moments of Emmys 2019:
If you didn't know Phoebe Waller-Bridge before, well, you certainly do now.
First, the British writer-actress of "Fleabag" won for writing on a comedy series, telling the crowd that she found writing "really hard and painful" — but that she did it for the awards. She got to repeat the joke when she won best actress in a comedy, a huge upset over prohibitive favorite Julia Louis-Dreyfus for the last season of "Veep."
And then Waller-Bridge, 34, made it up to the stage yet again when her show won for outstanding comedy series, again besting "Veep."
"This is getting ridiculous!" she exulted. In true Britspeak, she called her show's journey to success "absolutely mental." She was pretty entertaining when she presented an award with funnyman Bill Hader, too — all in all, a massive night, as the Brits would say.
A MEMORY BOTH POWERFUL AND EMPOWERING
Alex Borstein, winning her second consecutive Emmy for "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," started out in predictably humorous mode, making a racy underwear joke.
Then she made a dramatic pivot to a poignant and harrowing memory about her grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, who during the war had been in line "to be shot into a pit."
She said her grandmother had asked a guard, "What happens if I step out of line?" and the guard had replied that he didn't have the heart to shoot her, "but somebody will."
She did — and they didn't. "And for that, I am here," Borstein said. "And for that, my children are here."
"So step out of line, ladies!" she told the crowd, to cheers.
FAR FROM THE BRONX
When Jharrel Jerome won his Emmy for "When They See Us," he said he felt like he "should just be back home in the Bronx right now chilling, waiting for my mom's cooking or something." But, said the 21-year-old, "I'm here in front of my inspirations."
He thanked, of course, director Ava DuVernay, and his "beautiful mother," who actively cheered him on from the audience. But he saved his most important thanks "for the men we know as the Exonerated Five." And all five stood up and cheered from their seats: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise, the man Jerome played onscreen.
The four-part Netflix series tells story of the Central Park Five, black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were coerced into confessing to a rape they didn't commit.
A SISTER REMEMBERED
When Patricia Arquette won an Oscar in 2015, she made a plea for pay equality. On this Emmy night, rights for transgender people was on her mind, and for a very personal reason.
Accepting her award for "The Act," Arquette said she was still in mourning over the death of her sister, Alexis Arquette, who died at age of 47 in 2016.