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 (opens in new tab), 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.

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You can watch the full speech below.

Step out of line, indeed.

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Jenny is the Director of Content Strategy at Marie Claire. Originally from London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and never left. Prior to Marie Claire, she spent five years at Bustle building out its news and politics coverage. She loves, in order: her dog, goldfish crackers, and arguing about why umbrellas are fundamentally useless. Her first novel, EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, will be published by Minotaur Books in 2024.