Emmy Awards 2022: Sheryl Lee Ralph, Second Black Woman to Win Supporting Actress in Comedy Series

Sheryl Lee Ralph Becomes Second Black Woman to Win Supporting Actress in Comedy Series

“To anyone who has ever, ever had a dream and thought your dream wasn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t come true, I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like — this is what striking looks like,” the Abbott Elementary star said.

 

Sheryl Lee Ralph earned the Emmy for best supporting actress in a comedy series and made history.

The Abbott Elementary actress was nominated alongside Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Hannah Einbinder (Hacks), co-star Janelle James (Abbott Elementary), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Sarah Niles (Ted Lasso), Juno Temple (Ted Lasso) and Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso).

When taking the stage, an emotional Ralph began singing a verse from Dianne Reeves’ “Endangered Species” as the audience gave her a standing ovation.

Michael Keaton
Kenan Thompson

 

Ralph continued, “To anyone who has ever, ever had a dream and thought your dream wasn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t come true, I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like — this is what striking looks like. And don’t you ever, ever give up on you, because if you get a Quinta Brunson in your corner, if you get a husband like mine in your corner, if you get children like mine in my corner, and if you’ve got friends like everybody who voted for me, cheered for me, loved me, thank you, thank you, thank you!”

With the win, which marks Ralph’s first Emmy, the actress is now only the second Black woman in history to win in this category.

In 1987, Jackée Harry became the first Black actress to win in the category after winning for 227.  Up until this year, she was noted as the only Black actress to have won in the category.

“Winning my Emmy was a career highlight, but it was also a lonely experience,” Harry wrote on Twitter following Ralph’s Emmy moment. “For 35 years I’ve been the only black woman to win Outstanding Supporting Actresses in a Comedy Series. But that all changes tonight… and it’s come full circle!”

Ahead of the ceremony, the TV Academy offered nominees the chance to organize thoughts and gratitude ahead of hitting the stage to give the winners the opportunity to “speak from the heart and not feel pressure to remember to say all those important names when you are in the spotlight giving your acceptance speech.”

Ralph said that her strategy was to give thanks to behind-the-scenes supporters who make the show happen: “I just wanted to make sure that I thanked everybody at ABC, thanked everybody at Warner Bros. and thanked everybody at Disney. It’s so easy to forget the people who literally support this show that are not seen.”