Alex Borstein's Emmys Speech Encouraged Women to "Step Out of Line"

"[My grandmother] stepped out of line, and for that I am here."

71st Emmy Awards - Show
(Image credit: Kevin Winter)

Alex Borstein doesn't do things by halves. The moment Borstein was announced as the winner of the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at the Emmys for her work on the hit show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, she pulled out a mini-bottle of liquor and knocked back a quick shot. (I mean, wouldn't you?) Then, in Borstein's Emmys acceptance speech, which was both funny and moving, she encouraged women to "step out of line."

Here's the full transcript:

Ibid? I don't know. Wow. I know a lot of people were upset last year because I wasn't wearing a bra, so I want to apologize because tonight I'm not wearing any underwear, so you're just going to want to just throw out that chair or clean it pretty good. It looks pretty on TV, but it's like a hot Bikram yoga class in here. A lot of nervous women. I want to dedicate this to the strength of a woman, to Amy Sherman-Palladino, to every woman on the Maisel cast and crew, to my mother, where are you...To my grandmother, Nudgy, they are immigrants, they are Holocaust survivors, my grandmother turned to a guard...She was in line to be shot into a pit and she said, "What happens if I step out of line," and he said, "I don't have the heart to shoot you, but somebody will," and she stepped out of line, and for that I am here, and my children are here, so step out of line, ladies. Step out of line.

Borstein's speech was met with loud cheers from the audience—and viewers at home loved it, too.

You can watch the full speech below.

Step out of line, indeed.

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Jenny is the Digital Director at Marie Claire. A graduate of Leeds University, and a native of London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She was the first intern at Bustle when it launched in 2013, and spent five years building out its news and politics department. In 2018 she joined Marie Claire, where she held the roles of Deputy Digital Editor and Director of Content Strategy before becoming Digital Director. Working closely with Marie Claire's exceptional editorial, audience, commercial, and e-commerce teams, Jenny oversees the brand's digital arm, with an emphasis on driving readership. When she isn't editing or knee-deep in Google Analytics, you can find Jenny writing about television, celebrities, her lifelong hate of umbrellas, or (most likely) her dog, Captain. In her spare time, she also writes fiction: her first novel, the thriller EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, was published with Minotaur Books (UK) and Little, Brown (US) in February 2024 and became a USA Today bestseller. She has also written extensively about developmental coordination disorder, or dyspraxia, which she was diagnosed with when she was nine. She is currently working on her second novel.