Niecy Nash-Betts shines in Emmy spotlight with inspiring acceptance speech

ByGeorge Pennacchio KABC logo
Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Niecy Nash-Betts shines in Emmy spotlight with inspiring speech
Niecy Nash-Betts delivered a rousing speech after winning an Emmy Award.

LOS ANGELES -- One of the most memorable moments during the Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony came from actress Niecy Nash-Betts.

She was beyond proud to receive the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her work in "Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story."

On stage, Nash-Betts started with a big thank you and delivered a rousing speech to the audience at the Peacock Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

"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," Nash-Betts said on stage. "And I want to say to myself in front of all you 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'm gonna do it until the day I die. Mama, I won!"

Nash-Betts stretched her acting wings with the role in the true crime drama based on the Jeffrey Dahmer story. Backstage at the Emmys, she shared how she now feels fully seen as an artist.

"I was known for a long time in this town as a comedic actress only, and I really wanted to be able to prove to my peers and my industry that I am not a one-trick pony," Nash-Betts said. "I got some other tricks up these beautiful sleeves."

"I hope my speech was a delicious invitation for people to do just that. Believe in yourself and congratulate yourself," she added. "Sometimes you've got to encourage, what? Yourself. That's why it's not called momma-esteem, them-esteem, us-esteem. It's called self-esteem. Because don't nobody got to believe it but you."

And that heartfelt comment earned Niecy a round of applause from the press room, which does not happen often!

She is continuing her plunge into trying new things by co-starring in filmmaker Ava DuVernay's new drama, "Origin."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.