Zendaya Becomes First Black Woman to Win Emmy for Lead Actress in Drama Series

by Xara Aziz
Voiced by Amazon Polly

She’s done it again! On Monday, Euphoria actress, Zendaya, won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Rue in the popular HBO teen series, Euphoria, making her the first Black woman to win in the category. She is also the youngest to win two Emmys in the same category.

The 26-year-old Hollywood star thanked her family, friends and fans before sharing a powerful message to those suffering from addiction. For context, Zendaya plays a 17-year-old non-binary lesbian recovering from drug addiction in the role for which she won the award.

“I just want to say you know, my greatest wish for Euphoria was that it could help heal people,” she said in her acceptance speech. “I just want to say thank you to everyone who has shared their story with me. I want you to know that anyone who has loved a Rue or feels like they are a Rue, I want you to know I’m so grateful for your stories and I carry them with me, and I carry them with her.”

Zendaya first made history when she was the youngest to win in the same category in 2020. This year, she was also nominated in the category of Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, as the co-lyricist of Euphoria songs Elliot’s Song and I’m Tired.

Euphoria returned for its second season earlier this year after its debut season received critical acclaim from TV critics. The show tells the story of a group of high school students as they deal with issues of identity, trauma, drugs, family, friendships, love and sex.

The HBO series has received 25 Emmy nods since 2020 and also won Drama Guest Actor (Domingo), Choreography for Scripted Programming, Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series, Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series and Contemporary Makeup (Non-Prosthetic) categories.

It was nominated for Drama Supporting Actress (Sweeney), Drama Guest Actress (Martha Kelly), Drama Series Casting, Music Supervision, Contemporary Costumes, Contemporary Hairstyling and Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series.

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