Billy Porter won the 2019 lead drama actor Emmy for his role of ballroom MC and mentor Pray Tell on FX’s “Pose.” This historic win makes Porter the first openly gay, black man to win in this Emmy category.
This is the Tony Award winner’s first-ever Emmy accolade, and he took the stage celebrating his series shouting, “the category is love!”
The “overwhelmed and overjoyed” Porter addressed the crowd quoting novelist and playwright James Baldwin, “‘It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here,'” Porter recited from his notes before turning to the audience. “I have the right, you have the right, we all have the right.”
After thanking his fellow nominees, husband, family and the cast of “Pose” Porter gave a special shoutout to the series co-creator “Ryan Murphy, Ryan Murphy, Ryan Murphy. You saw me, you believed in us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Before he concluded Porter delivered a message directly to the creators in the room and tuning into the telecast, “We as artists are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet. Please don’t ever stop doing that. Please don’t ever stop telling the truth. I love you all.”
Porter beat Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”), Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) and both Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia from “This Is Us” to take this trophy.
Billy Porter’s Backstage Emmys Speech: