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Ryan Murphy Honors LGBTQ+ Actors in Uplifting Golden Globes Speech

Ryan Murphy
Photo by Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images

Praising queer creatives like Billy Porter, Niecy Nash, and Michaela Jae Rodriguez, Murphy accepted a lifetime achievement award.


Out television producer and creator Ryan Murphy celebrated queer art as he accepted the Carol Burnett Award for achievements in television during Wednesday's Golden Globes ceremony.

"When I was a young person at home in the '70s watching The Carol Burnett Show, I never ever saw a person like me getting an award or even being a character on a TV show. It's hard being an LGBTQ kid in America, in fact all over the world, then and now. And I have one word for you, Florida," Murphy said, referring to Florida's "don't say gay" law.

Billy Porter, who starred in Murphy's queer series Pose, introduced Murphy.

"I spent many a year teetering on the precipice of obscurity. It was you, Ryan, and your fearless art that spoke to me, comforted me, and let me. know that if I could just hold on a little while longer, my time would come. Fast-forward to 16 years later -- I got the call for a groundbreaking series called Pose," Porter said. "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."

The veteran TV creative took time to praise the work of several actors that have been in Murphy-involved projects.

He first praised the groundbreaking work of trans actor Michaela Jae Rodriguez, who won the Golden Globe last year for Best Actress, TV Drama for her work in Murphy's series Pose.

"In doing so, MJ from Newark, New Jersey, became the first trans actress ever to win a Golden Globe. Wow. How I would have loved for MJ to be on the stage getting the standing ovation she deserved for making history," Murphy said before asking the audience to stand in honor of Rodriguez's history-making win.

Murphy then went on to pay tribute to Porter.

He said, "Growing up in Pittsburgh, Billy was constantly told that he was not worthy. Said Billy, 'When I demanded to be seen as a three-dimensional human being, the work dried up.' But Billy Porter kept at it, and now he's one of the most iconic actors of his generation with two Tonys, a Grammy, and an Emmy win for Pose to show for it."

Next, Murphy gave a shout-out to actor Niecy Nash, who received her first Golden Globe nomination for Murphy's controversial Netflix show Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

"A mother of three, she was told only a couple of years ago when she wanted to marry the love of her life, Jessica Betts, that she couldn't, shouldn't do that. She might never work again. Her community and her industry would abandon her," Murphy 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 The Rookie: Feds."

Murphy went on to also thank queer actors Matt Bomer and Jeremy Pope for their work as well.

"You were often told you will ever become anything. You have to hide your life to survive. But for those kids watching tonight, I offer up MJ and Billy and Niecy and Matt and Jeremy as examples of possibility. My mission was to take the invisible, the unloved, and make them the heroes I long to see but never did in pop culture."

Besides the lifetime achievement award, Murphy has won five other Golden Globes, including best drama for Nip/Tuck in 2005, best comedy/musical series wins for Glee in 2010 and 2011, and wins in the limited series, anthology category for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story in 2017, and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story in 2019.

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