February 23, 2024

Niecy Nash-Betts took home her first Emmy at the 75th annual awards ceremony on Monday night. The actor won Best Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or TV Movie for her performance in Netflix’s Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, a contentious 10-part series about serial killer and pedophile Jeffrey Dahmer.

In the series, Nash-Betts played Glenda Cleveland, Dahmer’s neighbor, who had a crucial role in making an effort to stop one of America’s most notorious serial killers, despite being “reportedly ignored by police”, as Mashable’s Chance Townsend wrote.

Nash-Betts delivered a powerful and tearful speech accepting her Emmy, which brought the audience to their feet (you can watch the video below). She took the opportunity to call attention to Black women and women of color who are often ignored by authority forces.

“I’m a winner, baby!” said Nash-Betts onstage.

“Thank you to the Most High for this divine moment. Thank you Ryan Murphy for seeing me. Evan Peters, I love you. Netflix. Every single person who voted for me, thank you. And my better half who picked me up when I was gutted from this work, thank you. And you know who I want to thank? I want to thank me – for believing in me and doing what they said I could not do. I want to say to myself in front of all these beautiful people, ‘Go on girl with your bad self. You did that.’

“Finally, I accept this award on behalf of every Black and Brown woman who has gone unheard yet overpoliced. Like Glenda Cleveland. Like Sandra Bland. Like Breonna Taylor. As an artist, my job is to speak truth to power, and baby, I’ma do it ’til the day I die. Mama, I won!”

Nash-Betts has been nominated for an Emmy Award four times.

Previously, Nash-Betts spoke about Cleveland’s legacy in an interview with Netflix, saying, “If anything, I would want people to know that Glenda Cleveland was special. That was a special woman.

“To continue on and on and on in an effort to get someone to do something, she deserved way more than a little cheesy plaque in the bottom of a social hall somewhere…And I would want people to know that we all know or have been or will be a Glenda Cleveland in this life. That’s for sure.”