Billy Porter
Billy Porter

Emmys 2019: Billy Porter makes history with Lead Actor win for 'Pose'

ANI | Updated: Sep 23, 2019 09:15 IST

Los Angeles [USA], Sept 23 (ANI): Billy Porter took home the award for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role in 'Pose' at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards.
The star made history as the first openly gay black man to not only be nominated in the category but also to bag the trophy, reported The Hollywood Reporter.
In his acceptance speech, the actor spoke about the significance of his win for portraying Pray Tell on Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals' series 'Pose', which revolves around New York's LGBTQ ballroom scene of the late 1980s and early '90s.
"I'm so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," said the 50-year-old actor, before 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 this earth like I had the right to be there," the star said on stage.
Porter, who received a standing ovation, added, "I have the right. You have the right."
The Tony winner then thanked the "many people who helped me get here along the way," which he said included the other actors nominated in his category.
He beat A-list actors like Jason Bateman (Ozark), Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us), Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) and Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us).
Porter gave a special shout-out to Murphy, who debuted 'Pose' in 2018. "You saw me...Thank you, thank you, thank you," said Porter.
Porter ended his moving speech by encouraging the film industry to continue to champion inclusive storytelling.
"We are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet," said Porter, who turned heads earlier while walking the purple carpet in a custom Michael Kors suit.
"Please don't ever stop doing that, please don't ever stop telling the truth," he added at that time.
'Pose' features five transgender actors of colour in leading roles and a great amount of LGBTQ talent behind the camera as well.
The 71st annual Emmy Awards, which went hostless this year, is currently underway and is airing live on Fox from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. (ANI)