Sterling K Brown won his second Emmy, but first in a lead acting role. Brown also gave what many a calling the best speech of the night, however, it was cut off before people could hear its entirety.
Vox reported on the significance of Mr. Brown’s win:
The last time a black actor won the Lead Actor in a Drama Series trophy, it was Andre Braugher for Homicide, back in 1998. And the last time an actor in a broadcast series won this prize, it was James Spader for ABC’s Boston Legal in 2007.
Sterling K. Brown’s highly deserved win for This Is Us, then, stood out in multiple ways. (Broadcast dramas, in particular, have struggled mightily in the 2010s, with This Is Us the first nominated for Drama Series since The Good Wife in 2011.)
Brown plays Randall, the black adopted son of the otherwise white Pearson family, and his quest to find his biological father and explore his racial identity made for riveting television in the show’s first season, especially in “Memphis,” the episode Brown submitted for awards consideration, which involved a road trip Randall took with his biological father.
In Brown’s speech, he paid homage to the previous winners of the award such as Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad and John Hamm for Mad Men. He also gave a special tribute to his wife Rachel Michelle Bathe, who is an actress who also stars in This Is Us. The power couple recently celebrated their 10 year wedding anniversary and have two sons together. However, the couple revealed that they do not rehearse together for roles.
As Ryan explained:
“Sterling and I have been in the game for a long time. We go back to college. We’ve learned that there are certain minefields and pitfalls in our relationship, like a slalom, we just move right past them. Rehearsing together is one of those things.”
Here’s the full speech: