Originally published: September 18, 2017
Sunday morning, hours before this year’s Emmys ceremony, Being Mary Jane actress Gabrielle Union tweeted: “I’ve been doing TV since 1995. This will be my 1st time going to the Emmys & I’m presenting an award! 22 yrs later. #OvernightSuccess.”
The actress’ first credited appearance was in an episode of Saved by the Bell: The New Class and while that might not be the type of show that garners you an Emmys invite, it’s surprising that in 22 years as a successful actress Union hasn’t even been at the ceremony. But then again, she’s a black woman in Hollywood, so it’s not really surprising, is it?
This moment for Union comes two years after Viola Davis gave her a shoutout in her historic win as the first black woman to win a best actress in a drama Emmy. Awarded a statue for her role in How to Get Away With Murder, Davis who traded in roles like the one in The Help where she played a maid, Davis put her community to task for its lack of inclusion. “In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me, over that line.