I’m not gonna lie to y’all. I have about three minutes of patience for awards shows anymore because once they start getting into the snooze fest categories like Best Craft Service Chicken Nuggets I’m ready to jump ship like Jack and Rose. I wish I would have stuck around last night though because history was made once again when This Is Us actor Sterling K. Brown became the fourth African American actor to take home the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. And how did they commemorate this momentous occasion? By rudely playing him off before he could finish his speech.
According to Variety an African American actor hasn’t won in the Outstanding Lead Actor category since Andre Braugher in 1998. And you know what? That totally makes sense because there haven’t been many black male lead actors on television since then (insert side eye and middle finger emojis here please)
The “This Is Us” star made history with his victory, becoming the first black actor in 19 years to win in that category, following Andre Braugher for “Homicide: Life on the Streets” in 1998, James Earl Jones for “Gabriel’s Fire” in 1991, and Bill Cosby for “I Spy” between 1966 and 1968. Brown also won an Emmy last year for outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or movie for his role as prosecutor Christopher Darden in FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
Sterling, who plays Randall Pearson on This Is Us, was up against some pretty stiff competition. And I do mean “stiff” because they all looked like they had broomsticks surgically implanted up their asses just for the ceremony. But many would say he deserved the honor. And his speech was both gracious and humorous.
Brown said he is a fan of his fellow nominees Anthony Hopkins, Bob Odenkirk, Matthew Rhys, Liev Schreiber, Kevin Spacey, and co-star Milo Ventimiglia (“first, last, and always a fan” ), and thanked his castmates.
“Milo, Mandy, Justin, Chrissy, you are the best white TV family that a brother has ever had — better than Mr. Drummond, better than them white folks at ‘Webster,’” he said. “Susan Kelechi Watson, it is my pleasure to rep black love with you, sister. Let’s keep doing it like Martin and Gina.”
And just before he had an opportunity to thank the show’s writers the music began to play, even though Sterling stood his ground at the microphone like “Not Today Satan!!” Unfortunately, he was cut off and didn’t get to finish onstage, but was given the opportunity to finish his speech backstage. I honestly believe that the reason they played him off was because of Kevin Spacey’s smug ass. During Sterling’s speech he had that salty “I can’t believe this bitch beat ME!!!” look on his face so I’m going to blame him for these infantile shenanigans. And honestly, Kevin looks like the type to tip on over to the band leader and slip him a crisp $20 bill with “There’s more where this came from” written on it to get his way. Sneaky mu’fucka.
You can check out both speeches below.
And here’s Sterling with his wife Ryan Michelle Bathe at the Emmys last night.