HOW. DARE. THEY. There are a few things we can count on during award shows: someone is going to say something stupid (looking at you Shailene Woodley), there are going to be well-intentioned, poorly-executed Trump jokes (Melissa McCarthy was RIGHT there), and the wrong person will get the oh-so-rude musical play-off too soon. Last night, that person was Sterling K. Brown. Of all the speeches to cut short, Sterling K. Brown? REALLY? The man is a walking ball of charm, class and grace and this play-off was so disrespectful, disappointing and unwarranted, it made me just as angry as the normalization of human pile of garbage, Sean Spicer.
At last year’s Emmys, Sterling K. Brown stole the night when he shouted out his wife by quoting Jay-Z lyrics, “I got the hottest chick in the game rocking my chain,” which became a call-back for multiple speeches later in the night. When it’s Sterling’s turn to speak, you look up from your phone, run back from the bathroom and listen. Did the Emmys need to include all the mentions of how great they are at diversity at the sacrifice of Sterling’s time? I would like to reclaim Sterling K. Brown’s Emmy acceptance speech time because the part of the speech that he was able to deliver during the broadcast was funny, heartfelt and had me all in my feelings, giggling through tears, before he was rudely interrupted. As much as I liked what Nicole Kidman said, she was given twice the amount of time as Sterling. Was that necessary? Sure, she’s movie star Nicole Kidman but Sterling K Brown just won an Emmy for the second year in a row so, PUT SOME RESPECT ON HIS NAME. OK, I’m done raging. Let’s revisit Sterling’s wonderful speech.
He had me at, “This one right here!” He only got halfway through and it was still almost the best speech of the night (only rivaled by Lena Waithe). Sterling K. Brown made a point to pay his respects to Andre Braugher who was the last black man to win the Lead Actor, Drama category 19 years ago. 19 years. That is too long. We waited NINETEEN years for a black man to win this award and you’re going to play him off like he’s one of the Ernst & Young accountants? OK now, I’m done raging. I swear. Just as I was tearing up at the Andre Braugher tribute, Sterling says this:
“I want to thank my cast, Milo, Mandy, Justin, Chrissy, the best white TV family that a brother has ever had – better than Mr. Drummond, better than those white folks that raised Webster.”
That is stand-up level hilarity right there. As Lainey has said many times, she doesn’t like it when actors say “my cast” because it implies that the rest of the cast is beneath the one saying “my cast.” Usually, I agree with her. It’s very ME, ME, ME and gross coming from most actors. In Sterling’s cast, This Is Us is his show. His performance is why the show is as strong as it is. Without Sterling, This Is Us becomes an unremarkable primetime soap. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the show and I would still f-ck with it, but This Is Us is an Emmy-nominated critical darling because Sterling K Brown elevates HIS cast in every scene. This award was so well-deserved.
Just when I thought I had recovered from all the emotions, at 2am I found this clip from the Emmys press room. Sterling was given the chance to finish his speech. Please take a moment to watch Sterling thoughtfully and beautifully thank Dan Fogelman, the show’s writers and his wife and sons. “You make my life worth living.” NO, YOUR EYES ARE LEAKING.
Enjoy these photos of Sterling and his white TV family – Papa Pearson and the rest of the Big Three. Milo’s hair is just a tad too long, no?