Speeches made by men were definitely not the highlights of last night’s Golden Globe Awards. But the exception to that was (unsurprisingly) Sterling K. Brown, who won the award for Best Actor in a Drama Series for his role on This Is Us.
Brown was the first black man ever to win that award. Since the category was introduced in 1961, we’ve seen 57 years of white men winning (the category didn’t exist for the first 18 years). Brown didn’t even know that when he made his speech, but he still emotionally thanked This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman for his work in making a space that was just for an actor of color.
“Dan Fogelman, throughout the majority of my career, I have benefited from colorblind casting, which means, ‘You know what? Hey, let’s throw a brother in this role.’ Right? It’s always really cool,” Brown said. “But Dan Fogelman, you wrote a role for a black man that could only be played by a black man. What I appreciate so much about this is that I’m being seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am. And it makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me or dismiss anybody who looks like me.”
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 8, 2018
“It’s been 75 years and I was the first. I was shocked. I did not know this was the case,” Brown told Entertainment Tonight after the ceremony. “Hopefully, it won’t be another 75 years until somebody else does, but if my presence can open doors and can inspire someone ‘cause it take — you have to see something sometimes first before you can envision for yourself. So if they can see me walk across that stage allows them to see themselves walking across that stage, happy to be a part of it, man.”
On a night when the marginalized and the silenced stood up and took back their power, Brown’s speech was just one more inspiring moment in a long ceremony filled with inspiring moments. Congrats to all the winners!