The sincerity in the bearing of Sterling K. Brown’s acceptance of his many awards in these past months has made his wins feel like one for all.
The This is Us actor, also seen in Army Wives and Insecure, went home with his third historic win at the 24th Annual SAG Awards on Sunday night (Jan. 21). Brown collected a well-deserved Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Drama Series award and he was the first black man to do so.
Overcome with joy and fighting back tears, Brown said, “What a blessing it is to do what you love for a living. What an honor it is to be recognized by your peers for a job well done. This room is a source of endless inspiration for me.” He gave due thanks to his wife. “Ryan Michelle Bathe, you’re the best scene partner a brother’s ever had.”
He went on to thank his TV family, jokingly but wholeheartedly. “To my white family—which thankfully is nothing like the family from Get Out—I love you.” And asked that his TV wife, Susan Kelechi Watson, continue to help make history.
Brown closed his speech with warmth, saying, “To all those people out there still hustling, tryna make it, the fame won’t sustain you. The money won’t sustain you. The love—keep that love alive. It’ll keep you going.”
Brown accepted an award for Lead Actor in A Television Drama at the Emmys in September. While he wasn’t the first to do so, historically, he was the first in nearly 20 years. The win was also worth noting because of the 2016 report by Variety that 25 percent of Emmy nominees were POC but that they were seldom in the drama category.
Earlier this month, Brown became the first black actor to win a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama TV Series for his performance in This Is Us and was a nominee for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries for his role in The People v OJ Simpson. He’s on a roll.
It didn’t seem like it could get any better but in the same night, the entire This Is Us cast won Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, to which Brown responded with more animation than he had to his own individual award. He was happy that the cast was able to win an award as no other cast, “looks like them.” Diversity in media is one of many things that the world needs.
Brown will play N’Jobu in the highly anticipated Black Panther movie, set to release on February 16.