Allen joins the ranks of Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson, Walter Cronkite, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis and Tyler Perry
Ace choreographer, director, producer and actress Debbie Allen has received the Governors Award at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards for her countless contributions to television, for inspiring marginalised youngsters through the performing arts and mentorship, as well as her acts of charity.
Allen was brought to stage in a splendid manner. Firstly, there was a video telling her life and achievements narrated by Gayle King. She was then brought to stage by Jada Pinkett Smith, Ellen Pompeo, Ava Duvernay, and Michael Douglas. They were holding canes in tribute to her character in Fame, and tapped them on the floor in rhythm as she stood on stage and received a standing ovation.
Allen, 71, thanked the audience and her friends, saying she’s shaking with both gratitude and grace, and is trying not to cry. She recalled that her journey took a long time, and took a lot of courage as she was often the only woman in the room. She also thanked the people she brought with her.
It was a long time coming for Allen, and when she finally got her moment, she told the producers to turn the countdown clock of. “Honey, turn that clock off. I’m paying no attention to it. Turn it off, turn it off,” she ordered the producers.
Allen wanted this moment to resonate with women around the world, especially Texas and Afghanistan. She wanted the young people, who didn’t have access to a vote or a vaccine to claim their power, their voice and to tell their stories. It’s now their turn. She signed off afterwards.
The 73rd Emmy Awards is airing from 8-11 p.m. on CBS.