By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — The CBS daytime drama “The Young and the Restless” has long been among the industry’s most innovative in areas of diversity and inclusion. Last Friday the show made history as actress Mishael Morgan won Best Outstanding Lead Performance in a Drama Series: Actress. She became the first Black woman to win in the category. It was her third nomination and first win in the Lead Actress category.
“I’m so proud of this generation,” Morgan said during her acceptance speech. “…I am being honored regardless of the color of my skin …for being the best at what I do.” Following her win, she told Soap Central, “It felt surreal. I kept replaying it in my head, and then it took me a second to realize, ‘No, that’s not the voice in my head. They actually said my name.’”
Morgan said the storyline of her Emmy-winning character impacted her deeply.”It’s funny because I started thinking about it a little more, and I was thinking about my dad a lot today, and this was so connected to him in a lot of ways. My dad didn’t meet his mom until he was 21. He was raised by her for a few years, but I think around the time he was eight, he ended up in Trinidad, and he didn’t meet her again until he was 21,” Morgan explained.
“And I remembered that when I was prepping the scenes and everything, and then, with everything going on, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is so much my dad’s story,’ and so, it meant so much to me in a lot of [ways], and that was the whole journey on the tape that I had; it was Amanda meeting her mother for the first time, then meeting her grandfather for the first time, who was not her, well, it was her biggest fan, but Amanda was not his biggest fan.”
“It was really hard thinking about how I was going to play a strong Black woman in a different way and not make her seem the same and make her seem fresh and different and have connections with these same people that I’ve been working with five, six years prior. But it was exciting, and it reminded me why we do this,” the actress told Soap Central. “We love to play, and we love to tell stories, and we love to become new people and transcend and send our messages out into the world.”
CBS (locally WTVF-5) aired the 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards live from Pasadena Civic Center. The ceremony was live-streamed and remains available to watch on-demand via Paramount+.