Merritt Wever Wins Emmy for Playing Queer Character on ‘Godless’

Emmy winner Merritt Wever transformed into two-time Emmy winner Merritt Wever Monday. Wever won the Emmy for best supporting actress in a limited series or TV movie for her role of Mary Agnes McNue on the Netflix limited series Godless.

After a mining accident takes the lives of most of the men in the town of La Belle, Mary Agnes takes the reins of the town. She also begins a romance with Callie (Tess Frazer), a former sex worker who becomes the town’s school teacher.

As Indiewire pointed out, though most Westerns project a totally hetero image, the reality is that the West was totally queer.

“I read some books that [a historian] suggested, and I was glad for the context,” Wever told Indiewire. “I was curious as to whether the way we think about sexuality and gender now is the way people thought about it back then. And from the material he directed me to, it was different… I don’t think it was uncommon and that it had more to do with being different, being an outsider, upsetting the herd. People didn’t like when you rocked the status quo.”

While the film has gotten some plaudits for its portrayal of queer women, INTO’s Jill Gutowitz criticized the show for falling into a trap of presenting queerness only as an alternative when there aren’t any men around.

“Though La Belle is actually inhabited by menso many, in fact, that the protagonists of the show are malethe idea is there,” she wrote, “in a utopian society where men don’t exist or are infrequent, women start dating each other.”

Wever previously won an Emmy for her role on Nurse Jackie and delivered one of the shortest speeches in awards show history.

“Thank you so much,” she said. “Thank you so much. I gotta go, bye.”

Image via Getty

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