Sterling K. Brown of This Is Us was cut off from his speech prematurely at the 2017 Emmys.


He was giving his acceptance speech for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, the first black man to do so since 1998, when he was cut off by the Emmy band. “Before anything like this happened for your boy, I was a fan first, last and always a fan. So to my fellow nominees, I’m a fan. I love y’all,” Brown began, congratulating the other men in the category. “This joint right here, like Walter White held this joint here. Dick Whitman held this joint. I may have lost some of y’all but you know, Google it. And 19 years ago Detective Frank Pembleton held this joint, as impeccably played by Andre Braugher,” he continued, paying homage to those who came before him.

“I want to thank my cast, Milo [Ventimiglia], Mandy [Moore], Justin [Hartley], Chrissy [Metz]: you are the best white TV family that a brother has ever had. Better than Mr. Drummond, better than the white folks that raised Webster,” he joked. Brown plays the adopted black son of a white family on the hit NBC show.

Then, the band began to play Brown off. “Nobody got that loud music,” Brown could be heard saying. The music continued to play as Brown tried to fight it, and eventually the show went to commercial. And he was right. Nicole Kidman, who had won for her role in Big Little Lies just a few categories earlier, was given 2 minutes and 45 seconds for her speech time, and no music came in. The music began when Brown hit the 1:57 mark in his speech.

Later, in the press room, Brown was given a platform to finish his speech. “I wanted to thank our writers. 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,” Brown said. “To our producers and directors, in particular, John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, and the crazy cool Ken Olin. I thank you for your guidance and friendship. And I wanted to thank Dan Fogelman — he is the Hebrew hammer with which our house was 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 and I love him for taking me on this journey. 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. And to my wife, I can’t believe they cut me off before I got to thank my wife, Ryan Michelle Bathe. You’re everything. You make my life worth living. You gave me two of the most beautiful things that God has ever put on this planet: my sons Andrew Jason Sterling Brown and Amaré Michael Ryan Christian Brown. Your daddy loves you with the strength of a thousand suns. I’ll see you Monday after work.”

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