How Regina King honoured Breonna Taylor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Emmys

Regina King just won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Drama Series or Movie for her starring role in HBO’s Watchmen, and she made sure to get political during her 2020 Emmys acceptance speech. 

Whether you count yourself a comic fan or not, by now, you’ve probably heard of Watchmen – aka HBO’s addictively dark new superhero series. 

The hugely popular TV series gives us a twist on the traditional superhero format, focusing on a group of mask-wearing vigilantes (all of whom are treated as criminals by government agencies), none of whom have superpowers. And, for an extra dash of realism, they’re woven into a society that’s all too reflective of our current state.

Of course, Regina King, who plays detective Angela Abar in the series, has long been praised for her stellar performance in the show.

So is it any wonder, then, that the actor just won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Drama Series or Movie at the 2020 Emmys?

“Wow, wow, this is so freaking weird,” King began her speech, as someone handed her an Emmy Awards statue.

“I truly love being a thespian. Thank you Television Academy for choosing me to represent the thespian community.”

After thanking the cast and crew of Watchmen, though, King turned her attention to a far more important matter: the 2020 presidential election.

Watch Regina King’s 2020 Emmys speech below:

“We’ve got to vote,” declared King. “I would be remiss not to mention that. 

“Have a voting plan, go to Vote up the ballot. Please go to and find out who are voting in your municipal elections. It is very important. Be a good human.”

The actor then paid tribute to feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second female Supreme Court Justice in the US and a lifelong champion of gender equality, who died on Friday at the age of 87 from metastatic pancreatic cancer.

“Rest in power RBG,” said King.

King’s biggest statement of the night, though, was made via her outfit.

Because, underneath her pink Schiaparelli suit, the actor wore a graphic T-shirt from Phenomenal – with Breonna Taylor’s image printed across the front. 

As previously reported by Stylist, Taylor, just 26 at the age of her death, was shot and killed by police during a drug raid on her Louisville, Kentucky home on 13 March. The officers were investigating two people suspected of selling drugs, neither of whom was Taylor. They had been granted a “no-knock” warrant (something the Louisville Metro Council has since voted unanimously to ban) by a judge, which allowed them to enter Taylor’s apartment without announcing themselves, and they also weren’t wearing body cams.

Taylor and her partner, Kenneth Walker, were reportedly asleep when officers entered their home using a battering ram. Licensed gun owner Walker – who called 911 for assistance – has said he fired one shot as police entered, hitting Mattingly in the leg, believing them to be armed intruders.

Although Taylor’s family recently reached a $12 million settlement with the Kentucky city, the officers involved still have not been charged or arrested.

And, ahead of this year’s Emmys “red carpet,” King shared a closer look at her reversible T-shirt, which demands justice for Taylor.

“Breonna Taylor was murdered in her sleep by Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove, and her killers have not been charged,” reads King’s caption. 

“Too often Black women who die from police violence are forgotten. Let’s stay loud, keep demanding justice for Breonna and her family, and SAY HER NAME.”

How you can help demand justice for Breonna Taylor

Sign the petition

Sign the petition, which calls for charges to be filed immediately against the officers involved, here.

Say her name

Keep the conversation going by amplifying the words of activists on social media.

As Gina Martin says: “It’s not hard. Repost other people’s writing, posts, information. Give your platform to their words.

“If you’re not doing the work don’t speak on it. Further others’ messages.

Images: Getty

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