26th Annual Webby Awards: Greatest moments from the internet’s biggest night

Megan Thee Stallion, Laverne Cox, and more took home awards for their work in digital media

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From inspiring awards for powerful storytelling to some of the biggest names in music, film, and TV, the Webby Awards returned better than ever this year. TheGrio attended the show in New York City and saw the most-talked-about moments you may have missed from the ceremony.

26th Annual Webby Awards
Megan Thee Stallion at the 26th Annual Webby Awards on May 16, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Webby Awards)

Law Roach introduces Megan Thee Stallion

The name on everybody’s lips heading into the show was Megan Thee Stallion. The rap star was awarded Webby Artist of the Year at this year’s ceremony. She was introduced by prolific stylist and fashion icon Law Roach, her friend and collaborator. The rapper received the award for her, “use of the Internet to blaze artistic trails and to advocate for Black women to be confident, respected and protected.”

Every Webbys winner was limited to just 5 words in their acceptance speeches, making way for clever, powerful, and often hilarious ones. Megan’s was, “Take bans off our bodies.”

Laverne Cox is Advocate of the Year

Through various mediums, Laverne Cox continues to use her platform to advocate for equality. This year, the Inventing Anna actress earned an award selected by a panel chaired by the NAACP and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) “honoring her tireless efforts championing for awareness and equal rights.”

26th Annual Webby Awards
Laverne Cox onstage at the 26th Annual Webby Awards on May 16, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Webby Awards)

Cox’s speech was particularly powerful, considering the continuing attacks against the LGBTQ and particularly the trans community. In her speech, she said, “Transgender. Unstoppable. Beautiful. Belongs. Everywhere.”

Honoring Anita Hill

One of the only standing ovations of the night went to Professor Anita Hill when she took to the stage to accept the Webby Award for her Public Service & Activism, General Series (Podcasts). The win comes from the popular podcast, Because of Anita, which breaks down the impact of Hill’s historic 1991 testimony that then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her.

26th Annual Webby Awards
Anita Hill onstage at the 26th Annual Webby Awards on May 16, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Webby Awards)

The four-part podcast traces her testimony to other social justice movements, including the #MeToo movement. After the aforementioned standing ovation, Hill gave her 5-word speech: “Take equality seriously, for real.”

It’s Time to Say Gay

The ceremony closed out with a powerful tribute to the organizers of the “Say Gay” movement, who were in attendance. The organizers earned the Webby Social Movement of The Year Award for their work “standing up against discriminatory legislation that advances homophobia and threatens LGBTQ+ rights in Florida and across the United States.”

26th Annual Webby Awards
Tan France, Tig Notaro, Will Larkins, Abbie Garretson, Jack Petocz and Javier Gomez speak onstage during the 26th Annual Webby Awards on May 16, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Webby Awards)

Their inspiring five-word speeches included “We will not be silenced” and “This, here, is queer revolution.” Will Larkins, Jack Petocz, Abbie Garretson, and Javier Gomez were the organizers accepting the award.

For more on the Webby Awards, a full list of winners, and more, head to the official site here.

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