Billy Porter Explains Why Awards Are Necessary to Give Power to the Powerless

     June 6, 2020

We’re going to share the full Collider Connected interview with Billy Porter soon, but we’ve got another clip from the conversation that is well worth highlighting in its own article. We just shared Porter’s much-needed comments regarding Mj Rodriguez’s unparalleled performance on the FX series Pose and why her work demands award recognition. However, there appears to be a major disconnect in the push to get Rodriguez the honors she deserves. 

Porter noted that Rodriguez’s accomplishments on the show challengepeople to see another type of human being.” However, he went on to explain that they don’t know how to adjudicate her work because they don’t fully understand the history of where it came from. It’s a hugely unfortunate reality of the situation because I absolutely agree with Porter; “[Rodriguez] should be winning everything.”

What can be done to fix this? Here are Porter’s thoughts on that matter, and also what awards mean to him:

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Image via FX

“I don’t know. I have no idea. I’m the kind of person where I learned early on that with as much as awards are good for this little gay boy, you know, it’s different for me than it is for my white counterparts. They don’t need them. I actually need them so that I can be taken seriously. I actually need them so people will pay attention to me. It gives me power in a space where I have been powerless for so long. You know, we just have to stay focused on the work. We are making headway, the fact that Pose exists at all. You know, I’m so grateful to have lived long enough to see that day. Pose? There’s no context for that for me. It was never an option for me. That was not an option for me.”

Considering both Porter and Rodriguez are well deserving of awards season honors, the more power via awards going in their direction, the better.

If you’ve yet to catch their work in Pose, Season 1 of the FX series is currently streaming on Netflix and Season 2 is due to drop on the streamer on June 11th. If you couldn’t tell already, I can’t recommend it enough.

Television