Viola Davis Delivers Emotional Acceptance For Oscar

By February 26, 2017

For reporting on the first hour of the Oscars, click here.

The third time was a charm for Viola Davis who won best supporting actress at Sunday’s Oscars for her role as Rose Maxson in Fences.

Davis, the current star of ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder, had been nominated twice before for 2008’s Doubt and 2011’s The Help. This time, she was able to overcome a very talent-heavy nomination group that included Naomie Harris for Moonlight, Nicole Kidman for Lion, Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures and Michelle Williams for Manchester by the Sea to get her first Oscar win.

“You know, there’s one place that all the people with great potential are gathered. One place … and that’s the graveyard. People ask me all the time, ‘What kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola?’ And I say, ‘Exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories, the stories of the people who dreamed big, and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love and lost.’

“I became an artist, and thank God I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life. So here’s to August Wilson, who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people.”

Wilson is a two-time Pulitzer winner and playwright who wrote Fences, and is nominated posthumously for the film that also stars Denzel Washington.

Following her speech, Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel joked that the tear-filled, emotional speech from Davis was “just nominated for an Emmy.”

As expected, Iranian director Asghar Farhardi won his first Oscar (on his second nomination) in best foreign language film for The Salesman, delivering a statement to the Oscar crowd why he could not attend the ceremony.

“I am sorry I am not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and the other six nations to whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry into the U.S. Dividing the world into the ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories creates a deceitful justification for aggression and war. 

“These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which themselves have been victims of aggression.”

Farhardi referred to an executive order issued by President Donald Trump that temporarily banned entry into the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran. Several federal judges halted the law, including a group of appeals judges who said the order was unconstitutional.

It took more than an hour for La La Land to win its first Oscar, picking it up for best production design for David Wasco and wife Sandy Reynolds-Wasco.

Also winning in the animated categories were Piper for short film and Zootopia for feature film. One of Disney’s multiple big hits of 2016, Zootopia made just over $1 billion globally, including $341.3 million in North America.

Another Disney film, The Jungle Book, also won for best visual effects.

Come back to GeekNation for more hour-by-hour coverage of the Oscars.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.