Euphoria star Zendaya celebrates record-breaking Emmys win with emotional message of ‘hope in young people’

Zendaya holding Emmy Award

Zendaya won her first Emmy at the virtual 2020 ceremony, taking home Best Drama Actress for her part in Euphoria.

Zendaya, 24, made history as the category’s youngest-ever winner, beating off competition from industry stalwarts Olivia Colman (The Crown), Jennifer Aniston (The Morning Show), Laura Linney (Ozark) and last-year’s winner – who held the previous record at 26 years old – Jodie Comer (Killing Eve).

The Euphoria star also becomes only the second Black woman to win the category in the Emmys’ 71-year history, after Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder, in 2015).

Zendaya accepted her Emmy from home surrounded by family, supporters and her dog Noon.

“This is pretty crazy, I don’t really cry,” she said, visibly shaken, to a chorus of screams.

Hunter Schafer and Zendaya in Euphoria

Hunter Schafer and Zendaya in Euphoria. (HBO)

The actor, who plays queer teen Rue on the hit HBO series, thanked her Euphoria colleagues who she said she was “lucky” to work with every day.

“I’m inspired by every thing that you do,” she added.

Zendaya has been a vocal advocate for Black Lives Matter and nodded to the current social and political climate in her Emmys speech, paying tribute to young activists.

“I know this feels like is a really weird time to be celebrating,” she said. “But I just want to say there is hope in the young people out there, I know that our TV show doesn’t always feel like a great example of that, but there is hope in the young people.”

She added: “To all my peers out there doing the work in the streets: I see you, I admire you, I thank you.”

Euphoria won three of its six Emmy nominations, taking home Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics and Outstanding Contemporary Makeup.

Overall it was a stellar night for LGBT+ television, with Schitt’s Creek the evening’s biggest winner.

It was a clean sweep for the much-loved comedy, which took home all four comedic acting categories – the first show in history to achieve such a feat – as well as Best Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Directing.

Ahead of the main telecast RuPaul accepted her fifth consecutive win for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program.

The queen of drag dedicated the award to the late Chi Chi DeVayne, who passed away earlier this year.