Emmys 2015: Are Taraji P. Henson and Viola Davis About to Make History?

Remember the historic whiteout that hit Hollywood on Jan. 15, 2015?

We’re not talking about the weather, of course, but rather this year’s Oscar nominations — in which not a single person of color snagged one of the 20 major acting nominations.

Whether Academy insiders egregiously snubbed critical faves like Selma‘s David Oyelowo and Beyond the Lights‘ Gugu Mbatha-Raw — or if it was more a case of the film industry failing to deliver interesting, diverse roles/casting — the resulting public-relations black eye was definitely not the kind of color we’d been seeking.

For a study in opposites, you need look no further than the 2015 Emmy race for Lead Actress in a Drama Series — which is shaping up to be a groundbreaking contest between How to Get Away With Murder‘s Viola Davis and Empire‘s Taraji P. Henson.

Just how historic are we talking? Since the inception of the category in 1953, no black woman has ever taken home the statuette. What’s more, two or more black women have never been nominated for the Lead Actress in a Drama division in the same year.

Kerry Washington Scandal PerformanceIn fact, if Scandal‘s Kerry Washington lands her third consecutive nomination this year — and Henson and Davis aren’t unspeakably snubbed — half of this year’s nods in the category would go to African-American actresses.

“I think it is 100 percent going to happen — all three African-American actresses will be in this year’s Emmy race,” says Cori Murray, Entertainment Director for Essence Magazine. “Taraji and Viola have been Oscar-nominated in the past and Kerry had a lot of critical acclaim for Ray and The Last King of Scotland — but the juicy movie roles just weren’t coming. TV is where it’s at right now.”

The only thing more definitive than the worthiness of these ladies’ performances will be the promotional push to get them into contention — a factor that may be most crucial to Henson, considering the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ skittishness around genre shows and Empire‘s (erroneous) dismissal in some circles as merely a soap opera.

Fox and Empire‘s producers at 20th Century Fox “will be mounting a big Emmy push for” the freshman ratings phenom, according to one insider, starting with an event for Academy voters on Thursday, March 12 at the Ace Theater in downtown Los Angeles that will preview the first hour of Empire‘s upcoming Season 1 finale — and include live musical performances and a Q&A session. “Taraji is expected to be front and center in the advertising and editorial,” says the insider.

Empire Premiere RatingsIlene Chaiken, showrunner for Empire, says that while it’s not in her nature to think about awards shows, she hopes voters look at not only the outré aspects and extreme quotability of Henson’s ex-con-turned-label-exec Cookie Lyon, but also at the character’s more subtle moments. “There’s no question in my mind Taraji’s performance is worthy in every way — and ‘Emmy-worthy’ gets included in that,” says Chaiken. “The impact of the character she’s created — the way she’s been received in the world — is exceptional. You can’t look away from that. I love what she brings to the role in terms of humanity as well as those great ‘Cookie moments’ — and the fact that those things live in the character with equal authenticity is what makes Taraji truly remarkable.”

ABC, too, is acutely aware of the critical buzz for Davis’ performance as How to Get Away With Murder‘s outwardly hard-charging but internally messy defense attorney Annalise Keating. As one network insider puts it, “the show is a priority for us on many levels, including winning the awards it deserves.”

Darren J. Schillace, senior vice president of marketing at ABC, is a tad more diplomatic, but nevertheless supportive: “We’re very fortunate at ABC to have many actresses who could take home the Emmy, and we will be supporting all of them in that quest,” he says. “Viola is most certainly included in that.”

HowToGetAwayWithMurder_viola-davis-wigThroughout the course of HTGAWM‘s inaugural 15-episode run, Davis’ performance proved to be as subtle as it was mercurial: Her Annalise could jolt an entire courtroom into submission with her deep, booming voice and outrageous legal maneuvers, then back at home get pulled under a riptide of tears, vodka and murky morality. The show’s Oct. 16, 2014 installment, though, served notice that the Lead Actress race had a new front-runner:  At the end of the hour, Davis audaciously let the audience see Annalise remove her glamorous armor — her jewelry, her false eyelashes, even her wig — and come face-to-face with her bare self while digesting news of her husband’s infidelity.

Right from Empire‘s pilot episode, meanwhile, Henson has been the blazing sun around which the cultural and ratings phenomenon has revolved. The Person of Interest vet has created a stunningly unique character, one whose wicked sense of humor finds her flashing her lingerie-clad backside to a romantic rival, then hissing, “Oh, and Anika, this is an ass” — but whose ferocious maternal instinct and palpable love of the music business are two of the primary reasons the show cannot be dismissed as mere camp.

Essence‘s Murray points out that regardless of how the 2015 Emmys play out, both Henson and Davis should have plenty of future opportunities to snag statuettes, considering both of their shows have been renewed for sophomore seasons — and have delivered ratings and buzz across all races and age ranges. “We love Cookie. We love Annalise – or at least we love watching her be messy. We’re all Gladiators,” Murray says, tipping her hat to the Scandal fandom. “This could just be the beginning.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. mewp12 says:

    I totally agree with Viola Davis. She has done an excellent job. The others I don’t know. However, the award should be given for content not color.

    • Dani says:

      Same here. Viola all the way and I’ve seen all 3 shows.

    • Vicky says:

      PLEASE!!!!!! It has gone to a white woman every year since its inception and trust , that ‘s based purely on race due to the racist practices of the industry.. My prediction is this, it’s a good chance that not a single black actress -don’t forget Nicole Beharie of Sleepy Hollow who finally had her show shifted back to her starring role and put the show back on track- will be nominated and that will make the awards pure Hollywood and business as usual.

      • Don’t give up your day job; you are not likely to become the next great Emmy predictor. Kerry Washington — who is the lackluster star of a truly subpar show, has received NUMEROUS nominations. Beharie, Davis, and Henson are all SUPERIOR actresses in every way. I can’t see all 4 women being snubbed when the least of them has already been a stone’s throw away from winning — incredulously.

      • Kiddoo says:

        Quit your complaining. Two words… Tatiana Maslany. Snubs occur. Needn’t be due to race. But then, you’d have no need to comment.

  2. David4 says:

    Viola Davis needs to win, I can’t of anyone more deserving.

  3. Dane says:

    There are so many great African American actors on TV would love to see them win the Emmy. Kerry Washington is soooo great in scandal. Since I don’t watch movies not sure what happened with Oscar nomination. I only read that in Selma some of the facts were not correct so coud be reason? Not a good reason to snub the actors!!

    • Lucifer says:

      That is not why the actors and director of Selma were “snubbed.” First off, Paramount hurt the movie right off the bat by failing to promote it to the Academy in time. David Oyelowo (who played MLK) is a relatively unknown actor in America and that right there hurt his chances. The director, Ava DuVernay, had never done a big studio film until Selma so nobody had really heard of her either. Basically, the studio and producers were hoping it would snag and win every award simply due to the subject matter and the fact that Oprah was attached to it. Clearly they failed. Hopefully they’ve learned that when you make a movie to win awards, you actually need to make sure everyone involved is well-known and it’s actually given a proper campaign for nominations.

      • H says:

        But then the cast and crew wouldn’t have the chance of crying bloody murder.

      • Dani says:

        “David Oyelowo (who played MLK) is a relatively unknown actor in America and that right there hurt his chances.”

        Which is a pathetic reason to pass him over because while HE may not be well known in America, Martin Luther King sure is! That’s much of who the movie was about. So, they didn’t watch the film to see his performance and rate him off of that? Isn’t that their jobs? What do they do if they don’t actually LOOK at the movies they are voting on? This is why award shows are called popularity contests and nothing more by so many people.

        • Lucifer says:

          It may be pathetic, but it’s unfortunately what happens with most award shows. My comment above points out the factors that went into why a movie like Selma (clearly made to win awards, like most Oscar contenders) only received a few nominations because most people claim it was due to racial bias or historical inaccuracies. Also, as I pointed out, Paramount began their Oscar campaign for Selma very late in the game. By the time they sent out copies of the movie to academy members, most had already left for holiday vacation. So many likely didn’t watch Selma, at least not in time to nominate it.

        • VE says:

          If the Oscar went to the best human being then Martin Luther King would be a shoe in.
          But the award is for acting… not the character that you are playing.

  4. Julie says:

    I agree that all of three ladies are deserving! The only other woman I can throw in the ring for this award is Robin Wright from House of Cards. Incredible acting there too.

  5. greg says:

    All three are worthy, great performances!!

  6. T says:

    This is such a strong category. Viola, Taraji and Kerry will probably get nominated, and rightly so. But they may face strong competition from the likes of Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) and, if there’s any justice in the world, Keri Russell from The Americans.

    • wild_child says:

      no, if there’s any real justice Tatiana Maslany would get that nom and win. I am a massive Viola fan and I’ve loved Taraji since Talk To Me but no one and I mean no one is doing what Tatiana Maslany is doing on Orphan Black. She is remarkable.

      • T says:

        I’d agree for the first season. The second was gimmicky and a big step down in quality, so I’m not sure there’d be a strong enough episode for her to submit. She does an excellent job playing a multitude of characters, certainly, but the depth present in Margulies’ and Russell’s characters are far beyond what’s the case on Orphan Black.

        • Dude says:

          Her work in season two was equally as amazing. The scene where she’s locked in the shower as Helena is coming towards her is reason enough to give her the win.

        • CR says:

          I’m sorry but when they had that scene were Sarah was pretending to be Allison role playing as Donnie, that was absolutely brilliant. I find myself often having to remind myself it really is just one actress bringing these characters to life, and they are all distinct.

        • Simon Jester says:

          @T – I agree with this 100%. I think Tatiana’s chance at a nomination was 1st season, whereas the 2nd season was a bit more gimmicky (transgender clone, anyone?) and did not have the same depth of character. And at this point, if the Emmys were looking for a genre pick, I’d nominate Eva Green’s fearless performance in S1 of Penny Dreadful over Tatiana.

          • Ugonna Wosu says:

            Because of one scene,she doesn’t deserve an Emmy? The fact she’s still convincing as multiple characters doesn’t matter anymore?

        • wild_child says:

          The writing may not have been as awesome as season 1 but make no mistake Tatiana’s acting has not waned a single second. In fact I sometimes forget that one actress is playing every single clone. I even found myself saying during one episode, oh man it sucks that the actress that plays Cosima wasn’t in tonight’s episode..true story. I immediately caught myself but for a second I forget because Tatiana is just that freaking good.

      • B says:

        unfortunately i’ll be floored when a sci fi show gets nominated

      • Luli says:

        All of this!!! I hope at least that Tatiana gets nominated…

        • Kevin says:

          if orphan black was on HBO or showtime, tatianna maslany would’ve been nominated and possibly won. it’s the channel and the genre, no one’s denying how good her performance is.

          • Tess says:

            Perhaps one good thing that might come out of AMC buying into BBCAmerica would be a greater campaign push to get a nom for Tatiana Maslany. AMC specifically noted “Orphan Black” as one of the reasons they were interested in buying into the network and surely they would see value in getting her nominated because it would bring more attention to the show and possibly more viewers.

            That said, there’s still a greater chance that Viola, Taraji, and Kerry (who I see as the bigger longshot of the three than Taraji at this point) all get noms and Tatiana doesn’t. Emmy voters, like Oscar voters, tend to dismiss anything even remotely sci-fi no matter how good it is or how strong the acting is.

    • Me says:

      If there’s any justice in the world, Julianna will not be nominated, I can think of a dozen leading ladies who are better than her.

    • I watch TGW every week … I don’t think JM is deserving of a nomination for her work in this season so far. Season 5, totally.

    • trainwreck says:

      Keri Russel and The American’s cast and crew should get their due recognition this year at least by getting nominated! It is gruesome to see how such quality acting and story is not getting its well deserving recognition.

      my Dream Nomination would be:
      Viola Davis, Keri Russel, Tatiana Maslany, Robin Wright, Claire Danes

      I love Kerry Washington and Scandal, but as Olivia Pope I don’t think she does Emmy worthy stuff. Haven’t watched Empire so hardly in the place to agree/disagree to that.

  7. taloson says:

    The acting categories are actually still going to have six nominees, it’s just the series categories that are expanding to seven. So it would actually be half if Davis, Henson and Washington all got in.

    • Michael Ausiello says:

      You are correct. Article has been tweaked accordingly.

      • Awesome, didn’t know if they suddenly changed the rules again. But that just makes the potential even more exciting. And let’s be honest, it would be great PR for the Emmys to have all three nominated after the Oscars fiasco, in addition to all of them being worthy.

      • Carol says:

        There could be seven nominations based on the 2% rule. This occurred in 2013.

  8. Steven says:

    Viola and Taraji both deserve this award. I’m just glad Julianna Margulies won last year because the competition this year is much stiffer.

  9. Jay Lock says:

    Why are they expanding the category? I don’t throw the race card ever but is it to make sure no white actresses get snubbed?

  10. All three deserve to be nominated on performances alone. (I was unsure about Kerry in the beginning but the latter half of Scandal is giving her great Emmy material). The fact they are all black women makes it even sweeter, because they’ve been out the running for so long and all three are giving the strongest performances their shows aren’t the highest rated for no reason. This year as much as I looove Henson, and I really do. Viola got it in the bag this year for sure. Henson’s situation is difficult because of the genre but she knocks it out of the park being able to go from comedy to dramatic without it feeling off, it feels natural the way it should be.

  11. Dan says:


  12. herman1959 says:

    No Contest – no one can touch Viola Davis right now.

  13. webly3 says:

    I believe that all of these black women should be nominated. However, I still think Tatiana Maslany should win. But, if one of these black women would win, it should be Kerry Washington for her kidnap arc in Scandal.

  14. omabin says:

    I think they will cut down Kerry. I don’t necessarily agree with this but I think the nominees will be Viola Davis, Ruth Wilson, Juliana Marguiles, Taraji P. Henson, Robin Wright and Claire Danes.

    Lizzy Caplan and Kerry Washington should in theory be included in there too but I just don’t see where is the room to cut.

    My choice to win it all is Viola Davis one way or the other, although all of the women I have mentioned and others I haven’t even mentioned since the Emmys will never acknowledge them are amazing.

    • Musicfan5 says:

      I think your prediction is spot on. Personally, my pick/fave is Viola Davis, amazing work this year. I would would be okay if Juliana was not nominated this year. She’s always good, but “good” might not cut it in an ultra competitive race this year. Ruth Wilson could sneak in, but I think it’s Viola’s to lose. Agree with other posters, Tatlany Maslany needs to be nominated. The bias against Sci-Fi and Horror drives me bonkers.

  15. Jim says:

    Don’t count on it. The Emmy’s Drama categories rather ignore Network Series. So when this happens, remember, It’s not racism. It’s Networkism.

    PS – There was nothing wrong with The Academy Award nominations except Jake Gylenhaal and Clint Eastwood were not nominated. Selma had no right being nominated for Best Picture, but that song deserved it’s win.

    • Kendall says:

      I’d say it’s more likely that they’re snubbed because of how cheesy their respective shows are, but you never know. The soapiness of How To Get Away With Murder is offset by Davis’s Oscar pedigree, and the Academy loves them some established film actors, so I’d actually bet on her to win the whole thing.

  16. Jim says:

    This is who Should Be nominated at the Emmy’s for Lead Actress:
    Ruth Wilson
    Emmy Rossum
    Viola Davis
    Claire Danes
    Julianne M.
    Keri Russell

    Sorry. Henson, Maslany, Washington, Wright, Caplan, etc don’t make my list. It’s not racism. You just NEED TO WATCH MORE TV!

  17. johnhelvete says:

    The drama actress category is arguably more competitive than the drama actor category this year. There are probably going to be three worthy nominees that will not make the cut unless their is a tie with the 6th place nominee that will allow for 7 nominees.

  18. Carol says:

    Viola and Kerry have a stronger chance than Taraji. Empire has a lot of buzz but nominations and wins are based on 1 episode submission which is voted upon by the members of the academy. Viola and Kerry have a few really strong episodes they can submit. I’m not sure if Taraji has one standout episode.

    Robin Wright and Julianna are the other likely nominations. So 4-5 slots are taken.

  19. Matt C. says:

    Back in the fall during the first half of HTGAWM, I thought Viola was a no-brainer to win. But then Empire came along, and Scandal did the kidnapping arc with Liv, and suddenly I can’t decide who I’d rather win between Viola, Taraji, and Kerry. Regardless, it would be so amazing to see all 3 of them get nominations.

    Also, this goes without saying, but Robin Wright was phenomenal in season 3 of House of Cards. Claire quickly became my favorite character on the show, and by the end of the season, I was rooting for her and only her. I’d also love to see Vera Farmiga get another nod for Bates Motel. Overall, season 2 wasn’t as good as season 1, but her performance got even better, and judging by the previews of season 3, it looks like this will be her best season yet.

  20. Dude says:

    Hope Kerry, Viola and Taraji get nominated (even though Tatiana Maslany deserves her due) out of the three, this award is Taraji’s. All of them are great but Viola’s character is horribly written and as much as she elevates the work with her amazing talent, no one can top Taraji’s scene stealing. On the dramatic side though, Kerry really killed it in that hostage storyline.

    • H says:

      I agree that while Davis is always magnificent, the material is not.

    • Dani says:

      I get where you’re coming from, but Viola’s character isn’t horribly written. It’s that she’s playing a messed up (read: abnormal) character and the show (thank God!) is aware of it. In one of these last episodes she goes so far as blaming her mother who’s come to visit, saying she made her the way she was because she didn’t protect her and then we find out that in her own way her mother did. No it’s not perfect, but all of the characters on that show have issues. That’s kind of the point. In their profession as defense attorneys, you can become someone even you don’t like in order to win for your client.

      If I had to have a complaint I guess my question would be where’s the “normal” black woman on any of these shows, even the Shonda shows. It’d be nice to see someone that’s not bitchy, aggressive, or rude. Someone who has her morals, does her job well, and is a team player like so many (black) women are. Maybe that’s why Det. Jocelyn Carter was so refreshing, but it’s sad that her normalcy as black woman and a main character are so shockingly unusual. Unfortunately, I guess I should have said “were” because she’s gone now and Taraji’s playing Cookie.

  21. kate says:

    I guess I would be tempted to look back at early eighties like La Law vs. dynasty to see how the voters think of the two shows to see whether the old stooges even look at the shows at all regardless of race.

  22. Dude says:

    Dream nominees: Taraji P Henson, Tatiana Maslany, Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, Keri Russell and Julianna Marguiles

  23. albertj15 says:

    First there was No Whiteout in Hollywood. I don’t care who gets nominated as long as they are the best at what they do, so this year there was no person of color nominated,maybe next year there will be no white people nominated who knows. I only saw 1 of the movies nominated American Sniper. I wonder how many people saw the other movies? Hollywood always nominates movies no one has seen.
    The people nominated for the Emmys are all good an who ever wins deserves the award.

  24. cyclone says:

    This article is pretty much saying that the Emmys can and need to fix the errors the Oscars made by nominating these 3 black women. I really dislike when awards shows would rather fix wrongs for fear of being in a bad light than nominate (or award) people more deserving. And I don’t just mean this “white out” scandal (no pun intended) that occurred, it has happened also that they award people for lesser performances because they didn’t win in previous years. Russell Crowe was nominated 3 years in a row for The Insider, Gladiator and then A Beautiful Mind (brilliant) and they gave him the award for Gladiator. Not to say that the Gladiator performance wasn’t good but I think their were far better performances that year and from Russell Crowe (again A Beautiful Mind) but since they awarded him for Gladiator they kind of checked him off the list of winning. If you know what I mean.

    After I have said all this, I do believe that these women WILL be nominated this year but on their merit of acting and NOT because the Emmy’s need to prove something like they are all inclusive that the Oscars were not. And Taraji P. Henson needs to win this award HANDS DOWN. As a matter of fact just give her the award and don’t even bother nominating anyone else. If they are holding it back because Empire is “just a soap opera” then why do they have the Daytime Emmys (which barely have any soap operas to award anymore).

    The Emmy’s have far worse problems than how many beautiful black women they will nominate. Like how about instead of adding a more specific reality TV category (Outstanding performance by reality animals) and make a Dramedy category so that all those shows that fall into that gray are can finally have a category for their own.

  25. I hope and pray that Tarajii P. Henson/Viola Davis will be up for the best actress for drama series.

  26. B says:

    Taraji an viola deserve to be nominated, I can see kerry washington not making the cut since scandal has become so ridiculous of a show. Personally I don’t think julianna margulis should be nominated, while I still love the show there hasn’t been a stand out episode this season where i’ve had that ‘wow what a performance’ moment

    • Me says:

      my thoughts exactly on Julianna, she’s good but lately, there are a handful more powerful leading ladies than her. I feel Kerry Washington’s hostage episodes were award worthy.

      • H says:

        I thought they were a disgrace and Scandal never scooped so low.

        • Me says:

          Clearly you have not been watching the same Scandal as I have been, I’m sick of the love triangle and this kidnapping arc was a huge step up from all that messed up fitz/Jake drama!

  27. cyrano says:

    If Marguilies wins I will scream!!! Alicia is nothing compared to Viola and Taraji’s character… If the powers that be do not realise this then we can finally say what everyone is thinking: Hollywood is still racist. I would give it to Taraji simply because she switches from over the top to real and gentle in seconds.

  28. chuckiechk says:

    i think the best actress for a drama category is gonna be a hard group to narrow down to just 6 actresses … im not sure if anyone is gonna agree, but I can see tea leoni getting nominated for madam secretary. im sure each woman nominated is well deserving, but without a doubt VIOLA DAVIS SHOULD WIN THE EMMY

  29. uk-usa-tvaddict says:

    Although this article is interesting I don’t think that this will happen. I don’t think Emmy votes watch Empire so at best Taraji P. Henson will get a Golden Globe nomination.

  30. Olive says:

    This is Robin Wright’s year to win it.

  31. Et al says:

    What a nice, thorough, piece! Thanks guys! I would be very happy to see history made in a category where three of the nominees are African American and the other three are Tatiana Maslany.

  32. I agree with you about Taraji P. Henson and Viola Davis both deserve to be up for Emmy. I would be shock and surprised that Kerry Washington’s name be one of the five ladies up for the enemies this year. Scandal got a loyal following and one show that most people still DVR.

    • Alicia says:

      I think Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson deserved to be nominated! Kerry in my opinion has had better seasons of Scandal and some of that has to do with the direction of the writing rather than her acting.

      I have one question to pose though, what is the Emmy’s cut off for an established series? Because someone commented on the fact that Sarah Drew would never be nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series because Grey’s Anatomy has been on so long. If I were to believe that supposition, I think you have to take Julianna Margulies out of the leading actress category because the Good Wife is pretty established and she has won twice already, even though I love her!

      I have never seen House of cards or the Americans, but I believe those who say they are great shows and I think Robin Wright and Keri Russell should be nominated.

      As much as I love Orphan Black and Tatiana Maslany, I’m not holding out hope for her nomination. The Emmy’s are really weird in their prejudice against action or sci-fi shows especially since they nominated Game of Thrones a bunch of times and for me fantasy and sci-fi make up on category or genre of television. I’m not holding out hope also because the Emmy snubbed Arrow for it’s Emmy in stunt coordination when they have more fight scenes and weapons discharged in one episode then most shows have in an entire season.

      • Grey's Fan says:

        I think they should create new categories in comedy/drama for actors who are on series that last 8 or more years. This way good work can be rewarded long after a show is “hot” and watercooler talk.

        • John says:

          The emmys don’t owe shows like Criminal Minds and NCIS anything they stay on for years because old people who don’t change their habits and like consistency love them. Those hot watercooler shows get talk because they’re trying to be something other than the case of the week. High quality cable shows are story driven and they’re not made to last 10 years and get syndication deals.

  33. Sally McLinn says:

    Didn’t Diahann Carroll win an Emmy for Julia? Or was she just nom’d?

  34. Sally McLinn says:

    The emmys needs to add another nomination slot, making it 6 instead of 5. There’s good acting by women all around.
    Tea Leoni, Julianna, Taraji, so many good actresses on network TV and cable.

  35. DW says:

    Davis and Henson are terrific and should be nominated for sure. However, ho one else displays the depth of emotion and subtle power as Juliana Margulies in The Good Wife. Her performance is beyond superb every week. I believe either Davis or Henson will win this year partly because they are excellent and partly because the EMMYs won’t want a repeat of the over-the-top criticism aimed at the OSCARS. Basing awards on some sort of social correctness is never good for the integrity of the award. Viewers can see right through that. I do believe that in this case both Davis and Henson would be worthy winners based on their merit which is the way it should be.

  36. Sara says:

    As much as I love Taraji and Cookie, this award belongs to Viola.

  37. alrofficial says:

    Hope that Viola Davis will be win! I like Henson, but her show and acting in soapy zone. Empire is not drama for me.

  38. B says:

    It’d be fantastic for these women to be nominated; I’m all for it. But seriously, Tatiana Maslany needs to be in the nomination group too. I appreciated the SAG awards for including her, and, I was absolutely thrilled for Viola Davis’ win. She is spectacular and very deserving. However, Tatiana Maslany regularly creates such nuance in multiple characters that they play each other in various scenes with complete believability. That is, someone who knows the “playee” would reasonably believe it was that person while the “player” is still subtly visible. And she’s done this multiple times on top of creating/playing several truly distinct characters – every episode. She deserves recognition.

  39. Lorie says:

    I would love to see Jada Pinkett Smith nominated for Fish in Gotham. She kicks butt in more ways that one.

  40. Jenna says:

    Taraji FTW!–her dramatic (and comic) chops are impeccable. To be able to be all things is just amazing.

  41. Larry C. says:

    I’ve read the 55 comments preceding mine, and no one has yet mentioned this possibility. What if the voters cause a split among Davis, Henson and Washington? It’s the old “third party” spoiler. So, all three are among the nominees; they split the votes with no one getting a majority; a white actress wins; everyone will call it racism.

    • I must agree with what happened if there is a split voted and the wrong actress win. Good luck emmys handle the uproar.

    • Lucifer says:

      It won’t matter because the people who complain will do so even if an African American actress wins. They will say “only x amount have won this award and this does not fix the years of injustice.” This is what they did after Lupita Nyong’o, Steve McQueen, and Alfonso Cuarón won their respective Oscars last year. They are SJWs (social justice warriors), people who claim they care about social justice, but use it as a soapbox to complain or actually preach hatred and usually get their way. Basically trolls of social justice.

      • Alberta says:

        I’ve never heard anyone call for specific numbers of acting awards to be won to “fix the years of injustice”. This was a funny comment LOL!

        • Lucifer says:

          I never said the people complaining are demanding a specific amount of wins. I said that even if a non-white person wins, they will point out that very few non-whites have won that award and it is not good enough. Like I said above, this happened with the 2014 Oscars, especially with Lupita’s supporting actress win. Social media blew up right after she won with many pointing out only 7 black women have won supporting actress and that it was not good enough. There were even articles on that specific upset stirred by people who would rather complain than cheer on a rightfully deserved win.

          I’m glad your confusion lead you to find humor in my comment above, but try to read things a bit more thoroughly next time.

          • Alberta says:

            Ah, you formed this opinion from reading articles and social media. Your comment makes sense to me now. At first, I thought you’d befriended a member of the New Black Panther Party. Thanks for the clarification :)

  42. Lukes says:

    If Davis is nominated, she will probably take the place of Washington as the “Shonda nominee”. After all, Washington made decent job in Scandal but never that great. Davis is on another level completely.

  43. Lauren says:

    I hope all three get nominated. I don’t watch Empire (yet) but Taraji looks fantastic. I also gave up on Scandal this season, but despite its drop in quality Kerry is still sensational. Viola has been killing it. I would hope for Tatiana Maslany and Emmy Rossum too but not holding my breath.

  44. ChrisGa says:

    Someone else being forgotten here is Felicity Huffman for American Crime. She’s getting raves for that show and unless they submit in miniseries/limited run series(I think the rules changed for that category as well) don’t be at all shocked to see her in this category.

  45. Me says:

    Viola Davis deserves this…no one even comes close

  46. dj says:

    Please PLEASE do not nominate julia louis dreyfus. Enough already. Same with Julianna Margolis.
    Claire Danes was awesome in Homeland. I agree with those of you who think Tatiana Maslany should win. She does a fantastic job in her many roles. There are many excellent actresses both black and white. It will be a tough year for nominees and nominaters.

  47. dj says:

    Wouldn’t it be better to have the newest comments on top?

  48. Court says:

    My dream list would be…

    Keri Russell
    Tatiana Maslany
    Robin Wright
    Rita Wilson
    Juliana Marguiles
    Lizzy Caplan <–the second season wasn't as good, but she is incredible.

    It's a tough category, really tough. And personally, I don't think Scandal, Empire, and How to Get Away with Murder are emmy worthy shows. Though I think Viola is an amazing actress.

  49. Andrea says:

    If the Emmys cover what we’re watching now, I wouldn’t nominate Kerry at this point in the season. I don’t think she’s done anything noteworthy yet this year. Viola Davis, OTOH, should be nominated. She completely commanded her scenes. I loved watching her. I don’t watch Empire, so I can’t speak to Taraji.