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Viola Davis and her new Emmy award paid a visit to Ellen on Thursday to promote the season premiere of How to Get Away With Murder, and naturally the discussion turned to her memorable acceptance speech.
The actress revealed that her husband of 12 years, Julius Tennon, was in the audience freaking out over the beginning of her speech – before Davis eventually revealed that the words were from Harriet Tubman.
“I did want to mark the fact that it was the first African-American to win the Lead Actress category,” she told Ellen. “So I love that Harriet Tubman quote. I thought it was so progressive. And I started it and my husband said afterwards, ‘V, I didn’t know where you were going with that. I really didn’t. When you were saying those white women with those arms stretched out over the line, I was like, what is she doing?! But when you said Harriet Tubman said it, I was like, oh my God, thank God!’”
Davis also said that Oprah Winfrey sent her a huge arrangement of flowers – so big that it barely fit through the double doors of her home.
Additionally, Winfrey sent Davis a bottle of Jay Z’s champagne to celebrate her historic win. The actress admitted to Googling the brand to find out that it costs $450 per bottle.