This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown joined the ranks of Walter White, Dick Whitman, and Detective Frank Pembleton when he won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, becoming the first black actor to do since 1998. It was a historic moment and a great speech (“Dick Whitman held this joint”), but it was cut short. “You can play, you can play,” Brown said when the music started to drown him out. “Nobody got that loud music. Our writers, I love you. You are our life’s blood. Our producers and directors, I love you.” He continued speaking on stage even after the camera panned out and his mic was muted. Fortunately, Brown finished his speech backstage.
“I wanted to thank our writers,” he said. “A show doesn’t get seven acting nominations without some impeccable, beautiful, thoughtful writing. You guys are our life’s blood. So I want to thank you so much. To our producers and our directors, in particular John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, and the crazy cool Ken Olin, thank you for your guidance and friendship. And I wanted to thank Dan Fogelman, he is the Hebrew hammer with which our house is built. He makes me laugh and cry in equal parts and keeps me coming back for more, and in his own little, small special way. He’s not trying to make America great again, he’s trying to make it the best that it’s ever been. I love him for taking me on this journey.” He added, “I wanted to thank my manager of 17 years, Jennifer Wiley-Stockton. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and it feels like we’re just getting started. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
Brown also took a moment to thank his wife, actress Ryan Michelle Bathe. “They cut me off before I got to thank my wife,” he said. “You’re everything. You make my life worth living, and you gave me two of the most beautiful things that God has ever put on this planet, my sons… Daddy loves you with the strength of a thousand suns. I’ll see you Monday after work. Thank you.”
Nicole Kidman spoke for nearly three minutes without any music — Brown got the “please get off the stage” warning in less than two. The Emmys should not disrespect Christopher Darden like that, or else they’ll hear about it.
This Is Us returns for season two on September 26.