Billy Porter, winner of the award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for Pose poses in the press room at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Picture: AP
Billy Porter, winner of the award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for Pose poses in the press room at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Picture: AP

Billy Porter's life changed after Emmy award win

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Aug 17, 2020

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Billy Porter's life "changed" when he won an Emmy award, in ways in which he insisted wouldn't impact on a white actor's career.

The 50-year-old star made history last year as the first openly gay Black man to win the Emmy Award for Lead Actor in a Drama for his performance as Pray Tell in 'Pose' and he insisted it was more meaningful for his career than it would have been for his white counterparts.

He said: "My white counterparts work all the time whether than win awards or not. My life actually does change. My life did change from winning an award."

And Billy admitted it has been "breathtaking" to see how he's been embraced due to his "queerness".

Speaking during Deadline's “Contenders Television: The Nominees” virtual event, he said: "As a Black gay man whose queerness was considered my liability for the first 25 years-plus of my career, it's been breathtaking to watch that flip -- to watch what was considered my liability for so long become the thing that everyone is responding to."

However, the actor insisted his career is about the "work first" and he doesn't set out to try and win awards.

He said: "First and foremost let me say, I'm an artist first.

"I don't do this because I want to win awards... awards are amazing... they are so much fun. You hold space for both...

"I work very hard to make it about my work -- it's always about the work first. The icing on the cake is when people received it like this... I'm very honoured."

At next month Emmy Awards, Billy is again nominated for Lead Actor in a Drama Series alongside Steve Carell for “The Morning Show”, Sterling K. Brown for “This Is Us”, Jason Bateman for “Ozark”, and “Succession” actors Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong.

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