Billy Porter won an Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for “Pose.” — the first openly gay black man to win the lead actor in a drama category
“The category is love, y’all. Love. I am so overwhelmed,” Porter, Tony winner for Kinky Boots and Grammy winner, said in his acceptance speech.
Quoting James Baldwin, he said: “It took many years of vomiting up all the filth that I had been taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around the earth like I have the right to be here,” before adding, “I have the right, you have the right, we all have the right.”
Then he thanked those in his life. “I love you, Mommy,” he told his mother, who was sitting in the audience, then thanked the show’s co-creator Ryan Murphy: “You saw me, you believed in us, thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Finally, he left the audience with some thoughts on artistry: “We as artists are the people who get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of people who live on this planet … Please never stop doing that.”
Other theater, or theater-adjacent, Emmy winners tonight: actress Michelle Williams, and music director Alex Lacamoire for “Fosse/Verdon,” Ben Whishaw for “A Very English Scandal”; “Fleabag for Outstanding comedy series. (Phoebe Waller-Bridge also did a one-woman Fleabag on stage in New York last season.); director Thom Zimny for “Springsteen on Broadway” (an adaptation of the Broadway show for Netflix.);Tony Shalhoub for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”; Cherry Jones for “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Porter was relatively low-key in his couture this evening. Here are some previous appearances: