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Uzo Aduba Shares Why She Honoured Breonna Taylor During The Emmys

Uzo Aduba Shares Why She Honoured Breonna Taylor During The Emmys
September 21, 2020 - 19:30 / Hayley Paskevich

When Uzo Aduba accepted her Emmy on Sunday night, she also drew awareness towards Breonna Taylor! Aduba revealed that her Mrs. America character made her want to "elevate the conversation" surrounding Taylor's case and Black Lives Matter, and she's grateful for the story the show brought to viewers. Find out what she said here!

Uzo Aduba chose to make a statement with her outfit choice for this year's Emmy Awards! As Entertainment Tonight shares, Aduba wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the name "Breonna Taylor," and opened up about why she wanted to draw awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Aduba wanted to "elevate the conversation" about Taylor

Aduba told Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier that she was inspired by Shirley Chisholm, who she plays in Mrs. America. "I had the great fortune of working on a show like Mrs. America, playing a woman who made it her life's work to represent the voiceless and take up space for people who often go missing in the story, whose voices don't get to be heard," she explained. Chisholm was the first Black woman elected to Congress in the United States, as well as the first woman to run as a nominee for the Democratic Party.

"As celebratory as a night this is, Kevin, and we know it to be, I didn't want to forget what's happening outside," Aduba said to Frazier, referring to the racial injustice in the United States and the Black Lives Matter movement. "I wanted to bring a piece of that inside, and I wanted to try and follow in Miss Chisholm's shoes as best as I could and try and elevate the conversation. And hopefully we can take a step closer, too." 

Aduba "so glad" that Mrs. America told Chisholm's story

Aduba said it "means everything" to her to draw attention towards Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT who was fatally shot by police while at home. None of the officers involved have been charged, prompting widespread protests and stars like Beyoncé and Jennifer Lawrence to speak up. Lawrence even joined Twitter specifically to advocate for Taylor and her case!

Aduba also expressed her gratitude for the fact that Mrs. America was able to bring Chisholm's story to its viewers— many of whom likely are unfamiliar with her history. "I'm so glad that this story was being told, because ... this is was a woman whose name we don't know and should know," she said. "All of the amazing things that she did being the first... the first [Black] woman to be in congress, be the first woman person of color to run for president, what an amazing amazing tribute that is to her legacy."

Aduba thanks Mrs. America co-stars for support

Aduba won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her portrayal of Chisholm in Mrs. America, and shared that her castmates have been showing their support! "I've seen Rose [Byrne], we have a little women's chat, and I've seen some of the women's names come through," she revealed to Frazier. "I've seen Sarah Paulson, her name come through, you know Margo [Martindale], a bunch of the ladies show up. So thank you, ladies!" 

The actress also mentioned that she hadn't actually received her Emmy award at the time of the interview! Due to the coronavirus pandemic, drivers were sent to the nominees' houses this year. "They're stuck in traffic or something," Aduba joked. And when it comes time to get her Emmy, she's not sure what to do with it yet! "I don't know [where I'm going to put it]," Aduba shared. "I'd have to figure it out." Watch Aduba accept her Emmy while advocating for Breonna Taylor here!