Sterling K. Brown: ‘I Am Being Seen for Who I Am’

Posted January 7, 2018 10:40 p.m. EST

There’s a difference between a black actor being cast in a role, and a black actor being cast in a role written for a black man.

Sterling K. Brown made the distinction as he accepted his Golden Globe for best actor in a television drama, making him the first black man to win in the category. He gave credit to Dan Fogelman, creator of NBC’s “This Is Us.”

“Oprah! Don’t want to run out of time, so let me thank my wife: Ryan Michelle Bathe, I love you so much. Thank you for supporting me through this whole thing. To my kids, Andrew and Amari, Daddy will see you. I will take you to school in the morning, I promise.

I want to thank my cast, which is absolutely amazing. And we take turns leading and supporting one another. I love each and every one of you. To my network, NBC, to Bob and Jennifer, to Fox, to Gary, to Dana.

But also I want to thank Dan Fogelman. Now, 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. But Dan Fogelman, you wrote a role for a black man. That could only be played by a black man. And so what I appreciate so much about this thing is that I am being seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am. And that makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me, or dismiss anybody who looks like me. So thank you, Dan. Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press. Peace.”

The speech resonated with critics and his fans on social media. “It is worth noting that Sterling K. Brown’s speech was about an experience of discrimination, and of being seen by the white men with a lot of the power in that town,” Wesley Morris, a New York Times critic at large, said in The Times’ live chat. “That’s #MeToo-adjacent or #MeTooToo, or something.”