Remini won her first Emmy, off her first nom, for A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, exploring accounts of former Scientology members whose lives have been significantly impacted by the org’s practices.
Picking up her statuette, an emotional Remini began by saying she wanted to thank her mom, who was in the audience and who, Remini said, for years had hoped to attend a ceremony at which her daughter won an Emmy.
“Mom, thank you. You are officially forgiven for getting us into a cult,” she joked.
She dedicated the Emmy to “our brave contributors who, despite ongoing risk and repercussion, spoke out and told their stories” and the network for its support.
Backstage, Remini acknowledged that “as an actress, you want to get an Emmy nom or win an Emmy” but, as she got older and “realized what’s really important” is “more about doing the right things.” For her, that has meant exposing viewers to stories like this” in her A&E series.
A few weeks earlier, the Television Critics Association also feted Remini’s series with its best reality-series trophy. Accepting that statuette, the actress deadpanned, “I had always hoped to win something for comedy.”
“I spent most of my life being told the world outside Scientology would fail me, that I would fail, and that without it I wasn’t worth a whole lot,” she told critics at their annual awards ceremony in August. “I thank you for proving those theories wrong.”
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