Kerry Washington accepts the Vanguard Award onstage during the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 21, 2015 in Beverly Hills.
Charley Gallay—Getty Images
March 22, 2015 5:48 PM EDT

When Kerry Washington accepted the Vanguard Award at last night’s GLAAD Media Awards, she knew her acceptance speech would, eventually, come under some scrutiny.

“…On Monday morning, people are going to click a link to hear what that woman from Scandal said at that awards show, and so, I think some stuff needs to be said,” Washington said to a round of applause before launching into her speech.

The Scandal star then devoted her time to discussing equal rights for all citizens and how to make that a reality in the media. Washington acknowledged the “access to basic liberties” that are denied to many citizens around the world, noting how “women, poor people, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, intersex people…have been pitted against each other and made to feel like there are limited seats at the table for those of us who fall into the category of other.”

But Washington believes that the stories of these disenfranchised communities must be told to prevent this from happening on screen and in the real world.

Watch Washington’s full speech as she advocates for more “inclusive storytelling” and “inclusive representation” both in front of and behind the camera.

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