Henson and Davis were both up for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama category at Sunday's (20Sep15) ceremony, for their roles in Empire and How To Get Away With Murder, respectively.

It was Davis who made Emmys history by winning the award, and Henson was comforted in her defeat by the knowledge that at last a black actress had triumphed in the category, even if it wasn't herself.

She told Ellen DeGeneres on her U.S. talk show on Tuesday (22Sep15), "It was a bittersweet moment because we all want to make history and be important to society, but then I thought about it and said, 'It's 2015, we have a black president, and no black woman has ever won in this category? This is weird.'

"So I went into it (the ceremony), I knew I was being nominated alongside Viola, I just thought to myself, 'God, just please give it to one of us so we'll never have to say that (we're waiting for an historic win) again. Let's just break this barrier down and keep on pushing'...

"Viola deserved that award. And honestly, I would have felt weird if I got it over her. She's been doing it longer. You just got to give respect, and know when your time is. Had I won, it wouldn't have been that message. I mean, it would've been good. It would've been great, but I just think the universe orders up what it needs when it needs it."