Ryan Murphy Honors Queer Actors in Emotional Golden Globes Speech

ryan murphy and billy porter
ryan murphy and billy porter
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Ryan Murphy brought the entire Golden Globes to tears tonight.

While accepting the Carol Burnett Award for his career of contributions to television and film, Murphy celebrated many of the LGBTQ+ actors he’s worked with.

Murphy was presented the award from Billy Porter, who was nominated for several Golden Globes for his role in Pose. In his introduction of Murphy, Porter talked about his role in the groundbreaking show Pose and how none of it would have been possible without Murphy.

“Prolific. Visionary. Game Changer. Trailblazer. Champion of Truth. Fearless. Boss Man. Workaholic. Ally. Mentor. Friend. There aren’t enough words in the English language to convey what you mean to me,” Porter began saying to Murphy.

He then continued, saying when he first moved to Hollywood, that it was Murphy’s projects that spoke to him and let him know that there was hope for his career in film and TV. He then thanked Murphy for helping to bring Pose to life.

“As Hollywood lore would have it, and as Steven Canals, the creator of Pose, has said publicly, he got 162 passes on Pose,” Porter said. "Blessedly, the 163rd meeting with Ryan turned out to be the singular Yes our community needed to finally have our stories, our lives, our souls honored, validated, and seen.”

Immediately upon getting on stage, Murphy honored Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, who won a Golden Globe for her role in Pose when the awards weren’t televised. Murphy asked Rodriguez to stand up and then urged the audience to give her her “standing ovation she deserved for making history” for the award.

He then continued to praise some of the legendary queer actors he’s worked with, calling them “heroes of mine.”

Murphy began with Porter, calling him “one of the most iconic actors of his generation,” and saying that he’s “changed our perceptions by changing fashion.”

Next, he celebrated Niecy Nash-Betts.

“Born in LA, a mother of 3, she was told only a couple of years ago when she wanted to marry the love of her life Jessica, that she couldn’t, shouldn’t do that. She might never work again. Her community and her industry might abandon her,” he said. “Niecy Nash chose love not fear, and tonight she’s Golden Globe nominee Niecy Nash-Betts and she’s had the biggest year of her entire career with Dahmer and Rookie: Feds. Niecy I love you.”

Murphy then turned his attention to Matt Bomer, who won a Golden Globe for Murphy’s movie The Normal Heart. “He’s now defied the ridiculous rules that have been in place for almost a century. He's played the action star and the romantic lead, and been in acclaimed dramatic projects along the way,” he said.

Finally, Murphy turned to Jeremy Pope, who was nominated tonight for his role in The Inspection and starred in Murphy's show Hollywood. “Jeremy Pope is the future,” Murphy said.

Murphy continued to thank actors, producers, and directors he has worked with and said that he makes all of his shows because when he was growing up, he never saw anyone like him on TV.

“It is hard to be an LGBTQ+ youth in America and in fact all over the world then and now. And I have one word for you: Florida,” Murphy said. “You are often told you will never become anything and you have to hide your light to survive. But for those kids watching tonight, I offer up MJ, and Billy, and Niecy, and Matt, and Jeremy as examples of possibility. There is a way forward, use them as your north stars.”

The Carol Burnett Award honors someone “based on their body of work and the lasting impact that their television career achievements have had on both the industry and audiences.”

This is just the fourth time the award has been given out. In its first year, the award was given to Burnett herself. Ellen DeGeneres and Norman Lear have also won.

Murphy has been nominated for five Golden Globes as a producer, all in the Best Miniseries or Television Film category. He won for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story in 2017.

Additionally, actors in his projects regularly get nominated and win. Actors who won for roles in Murphy projects include Sarah Paulson for The People v. O.J. Simpson, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez for Pose, Darren Criss for The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Matt Bomer for The Normal Heart, Chris Colfer and Jane Lynch for Glee, and Lady Gaga and Jessica Lange for American Horror Story.

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