The This is Us star became the first black actor ever to win in the Best Actor - TV Drama category, responding to the news: “I feel a tremendous sense of pride”.
“To finally be the first of something is really interesting because I never considered myself to be a trailblazer,” he told press backstage. “I just try to stand in my truth all the time and if I come from a place of truth, that’s all I can do. I can’t worry about trying to be Jackie Robinson or anything else, but I’m honored.”
“He’s a fish out of water and two individuals who love him and appreciate him take him into their lives even though he doesn’t look like they do,” the actor said of his performance as the adopted son of white parents. “He’s trying to find his way in the world. Growing up, my mother always told me I’d have to work twice as hard; that the world wasn’t going to react and respond in the way of my white counterparts.”
“When those kids were making trouble, she said I wouldn’t have the same kind of latitude as them if I got in trouble. The repercussions would be different.”
“You wrote a role for a black man, that could only be played by a black man,” he said to Fogelman, who was in the audience. “And so, what I appreciate so much about this is that I’m being seen for who I am, and being appreciated for who I am. And it makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me, or dismiss anybody who looks like me. So thank you Dan.”
Backstage, Brown said he felt the weight of his historic win. “I stand up here hold this trophy. I hope another black actor will be up here holding this trophy not 75 years from now,” he said. The Twitter account for the awards show shared an interview with Brown following his win, where he talked about the impact of the victory.
“I’ve never been the first person to win anything, so to be the first black man to win best lead actor in a dramatic series is kind of amazing to me
He beat out Jason Bateman for Netflix’s “Ozark,” Freddie Highmore for ABC’s “The Good Doctor,” Bob Odenkirk for AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” and Liev Schreiber for Showtime’s “Ray Donovan.” The 2018 field for Best Actor in a TV Drama was a competitive one, filled with character newcomers and familiar favorites. On the heels of the wild early success of “The Good Doctor,” Freddie Highmore could easily have nabbed the award from a voting base that loves rewarding popular broadcast shows. Last year Brown was eligible for a drama series actor nomination for his role as Randall Pearson on the first season of “This Is Us,” but the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., failed to recognize his work. (He was, however, nominated for his supporting actor role as Christopher Darden in the limited series “The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story.”)
The Television Academy took notice of Brown’s turns from the light-hearted and almost goofy dad on the NBC’s family drama to the stressed out and breaking down son who just connected with his own biological dad, only to lose him months later. Brown was nominated for his first dramatic lead actor Emmy in the summer of 2017 and later took home that trophy in September.
Now he has his first Globe to match. Brown’s win bodes well for the overall prospects of “This is Us,” which is also nominated for Best Drama Series.
There were several historic winners at this year’s ceremony: a sign both of a hopeful future, but also a bleak look at the Golden Globes’ shameful lack of diversity in years past. Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to win the esteemed Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.
“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men,” Winfrey said in her powerful acceptance speech. “But their time is up. Their time is up. Their time is up.”
Aziz Ansari also became the first Asian-American actor to win the Golden Globe for Best Actor - TV Comedy or Musical, thanks to his work on Master of None.