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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II dedicates ‘Watchmen’ Emmy to ‘the Black women in my life’

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in HBO’s “Watchmen.”
(Mark Hill / HBO)

“Watchmen” star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II delivered a speech as powerful as Doctor Manhattan himself while accepting the Emmy Award for supporting actor in a limited series on Sunday.

“I’m so excited right now,” the actor said via video from his home. “I want to say thank you, first off, to my mommy and my daddy. Man, I’m surprised! To my siblings, my squad, I love y’all. Y’all watching right now on Zoom, and I love y’all so much.

“I want to do a big shout-out to all of West Oakland, all of New Orleans, the Magnolia Projects. There’s a lot of people from where I’m from making a lot of noise right now, and I love y’all so much.”

Watch here for live updates on the 2020 Emmys from the Los Angeles Times: Predictions, red-carpet fashion, winners and nominees, the COVID-19-affected telecast and more.

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Abdul-Mateen, who played the omniscient Doctor Manhattan in “Watchmen,” also acknowledged his fellow Emmy nominee and onscreen love interest, Regina King, “for being the best scene partner that I can ask for” — as well as other Black women who have supported him on his journey.

“‘Watchmen’ was a story about trauma,” he continued. “It was a story about the lasting scars of ... white domestic terrorism. ... It was a story about police corruption and brutality. But in the midst of it all, it was also a story about a god who came down to earth to reciprocate to a Black woman all the love that she deserved.

“He’d offer her sacrifices, support, passion, potential. And he did all that in the body of a Black man, and I’m so proud that I was able to walk into those shoes. So I dedicate this award to all the Black women in my life — the people who believed in me first. I call you my early investors. I love you. I appreciate you, and this one is for you. Thank you.”

Find out the winners of the 2020 Emmys with our complete list, updating live during Sunday night’s ceremony.

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Here are Abdul-Mateen’s full remarks.

“Thank you so much to the academy. I’m so excited right now. I want to say thank you, first off, to my mommy and my daddy. Man, I’m surprised! To my siblings, my squad, I love y’all. Y’all watching right now on Zoom, and I love y’all so much. I want to do a big shout-out to all of West Oakland, all of New Orleans, the Magnolia Projects. There’s a lot of people from where I’m from making a lot of noise right now, and I love y’all so much.

“Thank you so much to HBO — to [creator] Damon Lindelof — for your words, for your creativity. Thank you so much to [director Nikki Kassell] for taking care of me. For Regina, for being the best scene partner that I can ask for. ‘Watchmen’ was a story about trauma. It was a story about the lasting scars of white domestic violence — it was white domestic terrorism, pardon me. It was a story about police corruption and brutality.

“But in the midst of all, it was also a story about a god who came down to earth to reciprocate to a Black woman all the love that she deserved. He’d offer her sacrifices, support, passion, potential. And he did all that in the body of a Black man, and I’m so proud that I was able to walk into those shoes. So I dedicate this award to all the Black women in my life — the people who believed in me first. I call you my early investors. I love you. I appreciate you, and this one is for you. Thank you.”


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