After thanking creator Misha Green, the show, his fellow nominees, fans and his wife and children, Vance said, “Finally to Michael K. Williams. Misha said it best. Michael did everything with his full heart open, with his infinite spirit and with way too much style. May he rest in power and let us all honor his immense legacy by being a little more love forward, a little more endless in thought and a little more swaggy in act.”
Speaking backstage after his win, Vance said, “I love him. We recently met for the first time. I’ve been following him and he’s been following me for a number of years. We met at an event in New Jersey about two and-a-half, three years ago. We were just overjoyed to share the dame dias and couldn’t wait to get offstage so we could hug and just say how much we loved each other. And the idea that shortly after that we would be playing brothers in Lovecraft Country. This is his. We were brothers. I died in the series and we said goodbye to each other, so it’s just too painful to really think about so I just honor him everywhere and every way I can.”
Watch Vance’s backstage comments above.
Vance is not the first to pay tribute while accepting an Emmy for this show. On Saturday, during the first Creative Arts Emmy ceremony, leading Sound Supervisor Tim Kimmel honored Williams in his acceptance speech.
Williams, perhaps best known for his role of Omar on The Wire, died September 6 in Brooklyn. He was 54. Williams is up for a Supporting Actor Emmy this year was for his portrayal of Lovecraft Country‘s Montrose Freeman.
Vance’s win was so far the second for Lovecraft Country. It landed 18 nominations total, following its cancellation by HBO. Speaking about what the win meant to him, Vance said, “I’m very, very happy and at the same time I’m very sad because of Michael and because we’re not still doing the show. In my mind and in my spirit it doesn’t make sense… I’m sad for audiences that we don’t get to see like Game of Thrones we don’t get to see seven years, eight years of following these characters and learning more about that time period and learning about our people and their struggles. And where Misha’s mind is going to go so that’s very painful for me as an actor.”
Despite being cancelled, Lovecraft made history by having Black nominees in every acting category. “I don’t understand it [the cancellation],” Vance continued. “it doesn’t make sense to fans and that’s all who matter. We set everyone up and then we don’t deliver for whatever reason. I’m tired of it…they can find a way to make a Game of Thrones, but not Lovecraft Country.”