Niecy Nash-Betts on Her Emotional Emmys Acceptance Speech, Her Legacy & More

A true queen

niecy nash betts emmys speech
Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images

"As an artist, my job is to speak truth to power. And baby, I'mma do it till the day I die."

When Niecy Nash-Betts, 54, said those words while accepting her first Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, the audience was brought to their feet. Not only did the Dahmer star honor her team and loved ones for their continued support, but she also used the opportunity to speak out about Black and Brown women whose stories are often ignored. Fortunately, I got to chat with the actress and producer, who's now partnering with Versalie, about the rousing speech and her legacy.

Perhaps one of the most memorable moments in Nash-Betts's speech was when she thanked herself for “believing in me,” but things got more personal when she called people's attention to police brutality against Black women. She said, "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."

Fans proceeded to praise the star for her powerful remarks on social media. One person tweeted, "This brilliant, passionate speech deserves its own award—it will make you clap and cry." Another said, "That Niecy Nash speech will be giving us life all year round."

When I asked the actress to break down her tribute to women like Sandra Bland, she said, "I felt that was important because the character that I played on Dahmer, Glenda Cleveland, was also overlooked and over-policed. She was also a voice that was unheard, similar to Sandra Bland, similar to Breanna Taylor, similar to the countless Black women who have been in that same situation. And those were just to name a few."

In case you're unfamiliar with her role in Netflix's Dahmer, Nash-Betts plays the suspicious neighbor of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. When she calls the police to report his concerning behavior, the authorities don't take her concerns seriously—and this is an unfortunate reality for many in the Black community.

dahmer niecy nash betts

Aside from discussing her emotional remarks at this year's Emmys, Nash-Betts went on to explain how she envisions her legacy.

"She's an icon," the Origin star told me. "She's all the things. But even beyond my work, I want to be known for the heart of who I am. You know, I have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I have numerous awards, but I want people to know that I'm kind. I want people to know that I care. I want my legacy to be that I am my brother and my sister's keeper. That would be the most important thing, and that I gave birth and left kind human beings on the planet."

niecy nash betts emmys
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

It comes as no surprise, then, that Nash-Betts is using her latest partnership to support women. The actress filled me in on her experience with Versalie—a newly launched menopause platform that she swears by.

She said, "I didn't know a lot before this partnership. There are a lot of symptoms and I was only relegating them to hot flashes. But there's also mood swings, dry skin, thinning hair and decreased libido. There's tons of things that are a part of the journey that I was not well versed in at all. So, Versalie has just been a blessing."

Major kudos to the fabulous Nash-Betts for championing women and creating a legacy that matters.

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nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...