Los Angeles: Sterling K Brown on Monday created history by becoming the first African American to win the best actor drama Emmy awards in 19 years for his performance as Randall Pearson on NBC's breakout hit "This Is Us". The last African-American actor to win the award was Andre Braugher, in 1998, for his role in "Homicide: Life on the Street".
"I just want to say Mr Braugher, whether at Stanford University or on this Emmy stage, it is my supreme honour to follow in your steps," Brown said, paying tributes to his predecessor.
He also gave a shout out to his reel family. "Milo, Mandy, Justin, Chrissy - you are the best white TV family that a brother has ever had. Better than Mr Drummond, better than them white folks at Webster," he added. Brown was elated with his win and had a long list of people to thank, but sadly, the TV Academy played him off mid-speech and appeared to turn off his microphone as well.
"You can play. You can play," the actor said to the Emmys' house band. "Nobody got that loud music." After his mic was turned off, the 41-year-old actor tried to finish his speech to the cheers of the Microsoft Theater audience, but the attempt proved unsuccessful, reported Variety.
A reporter backstage asked the actor if he would like to finish his acceptance speech and he happily obliged. "I wanted to thank our writers. A show doesn't get 7 acting nominations without some epic, beautiful, thoughtful writing. You guys are our life's blood, so I want to thank you so much. To our producers and directors... I thank you for your guidance and friendship. 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... I wanted to thank my manager. And to my wife - I didn't get to thank my wife - you make my life worth living and you gave me two of the most beautiful things that God has ever put on this planet. Your daddy loves you with the strength of 1000 suns," he said.
Brown becomes the fourth black actor to ever win in that category; Bill Cosby took the award home in 1966 and 1968 for "I Spy"; James Earl Jones won in 1991 after playing the title character in "Gabriel's Fire" and Braugher in 1998.
This was the second Emmys win for the 41-year-old actor, who took home a supporting-actor trophy last year for his breakout role in Ryan Murphy's "The People v O J Simpson", which helped turn him into a household name.