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11 Emmy Moments That Will Make You Want To Stand Up, Cheer, And Topple The Patriarchy

Sarah Paulson and Tatiana Maslany finally get their Emmys

It was the best of times (#ToppleThePatriarchy), it was the worst of times (what did Sofia Vergara ever do to you, Emmys?) — it was the 2016 Emmys.

This year's Emmy Awards were a mix of old and new, as first-time winners came to slay — we're looking at you, Rami Malek, Sterling K. Brown, and Sarah Paulson — and academy favorites, like Julia Louis-Dreyfus (who won her fifth consecutive Emmy) and Maggie Smith (who, despite giving zero fucks about the Emmys, won again for Downton Abbey) continued their reign of dominance. Game of Thrones made history, kingslaying the competition to become the most-awarded show (drama or comedy) in Emmy history and the first series with dragons in its main cast to win Outstanding Drama Series for a second year in a row. Tatiana Maslany finally won a damn Emmy for playing seven different characters on Orphan Black, while Transparent creator Jill Soloway delivered the three most beautiful words ever uttered on the Emmy stage: "Topple the patriarchy."

Another Emmy night may have come and gone, but we've rounded up all of the moments that had us up, out of our seats, and literally cheering in front of our television screens:

  1. Jimmy Kimmel riding Drogon to the Emmys
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    If we had to endure 45 additional seconds of "Carpool Karaoke" with James Corden so that Kimmel could hitch a ride on Daenerys's precious dragon, Drogon, then so be it. It was totally worth it! How often do we get to see dragons at the Emmys? Better yet, the Khaleesi herself was there to give Kimmel a lift — and say the single-most badass word in existence: "Dracarys." Honestly, all award shows could use more dragons.

  2. Aziz Ansari delivering the best acceptance by not delivering one at all
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    Ansari and Alan Yang won the Emmy for writing in a comedy series for Master of None, but only Yang was able to give his acceptance speech — which was excellent — before the mic was turned off and Ansari was cut off by the band. Before literally running offstage and back to his seat, Ansari jokingly said, "You guys are in trouble."

  3. Jill Soloway to Emmys: Topple the Patriarchy!!!
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    For the second consecutive year, Soloway took home the Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for Transparent, and she used her speech to thank Amazon for bringing her on board its important television revolution. "I’ve always wanted to be part of a movement," she said. "This TV show allows me to take my dreams about unlikable Jewish people, queer folk, trans folk, and make them heroes. Thank you to the trans community for your lived lives." Then, she added: "We need to stop violence against trans women and topple the patriarchy." Topple. The. Patriarchy. YES, JILL.

  4. Jeffrey Tambor sends a poignant message about trans representation in Hollywood to Mark Ruffalo
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    Behold, a white woke man worth listening to. Tambor used his win for best actor in a comedy series — for his role as a transgender woman in Transparent — to make a statement: Cisgender men playing transgender women in film and television needs to end. "Please give transgender talent a chance," he said. "Give them auditions. Give them their story. I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television."

    Tambor's speech comes just weeks after Mark Ruffalo was criticized for the casting of actor Matt Bomer — a cisgender male — as a transgender sex worker in his new film, Anything.

  5. Kate McKinnon can't stop crying, and we love her for it
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    "I'd like to thank the Academy — good sentence," the Saturday Night Live actress said, choking back literal tears during her touching acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. McKinnon went on to thank Ellen and Hillary Clinton. First-time Emmy winner McKinnon is the first SNL cast member since Gilda Radner to win an Emmy in her category — and that was back in 1978. Holtzmann forever.

  6. Leslie Jones takes on her hackers like a total queen
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    Jones turned a routinely boring bit about the Ernst & Young accountants who are tasked with keeping the Emmy winners on the DL until showtime into a hilarious — and triumphant — sketch on private security. In August, racist internet trolls hacked Jones's website and uploaded a slew of private information — including nude photos taken from her personal iCloud account. But you can't keep a queen like Leslie Jones down, and she took to the Emmy stage to address the scandal. As she told the Ernst & Young accountants, she just wanted to feel sexy and celebrate her body — and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Maybe these accountants should spend more time protecting celebrity social media accounts from hackers and less time shepherding Maggie Smith's Emmys.

  7. Sarah Paulson finally wins!!!
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    After five nominations, the goddess finally took home the Emmy! The People vs. O.J. Simpson star should give a master class in acceptance speeches. There wasn't a single person who wasn't moved by Paulson's emotional tribute to Marcia Clark.

  8. Matt Damon roasts Jimmy Kimmel for a delightful 90 seconds
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    Of course Oscar winner Matt Damon was there to rub Kimmel's Emmy loss in his face. TBH, it was an enjoyable bit that reminded us how funny Damon can be when he's not mansplaining diversity to successful women of color. Damon and Kimmel's feud lives on! (And yes, an apple was involved.)

  9. "Battle of the Bastards" reigns supreme
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    Game of Thrones is now the most-awarded show in Emmy history with 38 total wins — one more than Frasier, the previous all-time record holder. The HBO drama picked up Emmys for best writing in a drama series, best directing in a drama series, and best drama — matching its record last year of 12 Emmys in a single year. But that's not the only Emmy record Game of Thrones broke; its seminal Season 6 episode, "Battle of Bastards," now holds the record for most Emmys for a single episode of television with seven awards. Damn. We can't even be mad that Maggie Smith beat Lena Headey for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. OK. Wait. We can still be mad about that. BURN IT ALL DOWN, CERSEI.

  10. Sterling K. Brown has the hottest chick in the game rocking his chain
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    Brown won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie for his work in The People vs. O.J. Simpson, and the charismatic actor delivered one of the best speeches of the night — complete with an ace Jay Z reference. "A lot of you may not have known who I was, but you checked the box anyway," he said humbly. And to his wife, he noted: "I got the hottest chick in the game rocking my chain."

  11. Justice for Tatiana Maslany
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    For four years, Maslany has been doing the work of about a dozen people on Orphan Black, and while this may not have been the show's best season, the Emmy win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series was long overdue for Maslany. But will the Academy send her seven Emmys, one for each character? Because she deserves it.


VMAs 2017