Sterling K. Brown has once again made history becoming the first Black actor to win Best Actor in a Drama Series at the 24th annual Screen Actor Guild Awards on Sunday night. Brown was also the first Black actor to win a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Drama and was the first Black actor in nearly 20 years to win an Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama.
Brown won his awards for his role of Randall Pearson on the NBC’s hit show This is Us. The NBC drama also won for Best Ensemble in a Drama Series.
While accepting his historic SAG award, Brown thanked his wife and actress Ryan Michelle Bath for being the “best scene partner a brother has ever had”; his “glorious cast”; and said: “To all those people out there still hustling, trying to 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.”
“We were waiting for them to say The Handmaid’s Tale, admitted Brown backstage, holding his two SAG trophies. “The fact that we came and we won: this is a special night. It’s so nice to do it with your family.
Brown’s character in This Is Us is adopted by a White family and the series is heavy with social issues and identity.
Brown also talked about his role in the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement.
“For me, it has been a wonderful opportunity to take stock that I actually have privilege—that I have male privilege and recognizing that I take a lot of things for granted,” he said. “It’s always the responsibility of the minority to understand how to negotiate the majority’s world. Black people have to know how to live in a White world. Gay people have to know how to live in a straight world. Women have to know how to live in a man’s world.”
Brown said that, for him, it is about recognizing things that he has not ‘registered,’ and that he isn’t as conscientious of as a man.
“There is a responsibility that we have to make sure that our work environment is comfortable for all, because it’s not always about malicious and nastiness,” he said. “Sometimes it’s about downright thoughtlessness, and we can all stand to be a bit more thoughtful.”