Ryan Murphy spent some of his time accepting the Carol Burnett Award to shine a light on LGBTQ actors who have overcome obstacles on their path to success.
“For 25 years, that’s all I tried to do here in Hollywood. My mission was to take the unseen, the unloved and turn them into the heroes I dreamed of seeing but didn’t seen in pop culture,” Murphy said, adding that he wanted to devote most of his speech to honoring LGBTQ creators as a sign of “hope and progress.”
He said the award made him think about “what fulfilling a lifetime is really about. I think you get there by being fearless,” pointing to several people he called “my heroes.”
Murphy applauded Billy Porter as “one of the most iconic actors of his generation”. He credited Porter with changing the public’s perception of fashion by wearing a tuxedo dress to the 2019 Oscars — a black version of the fuchsia color he wore on stage.
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, the first trans actress to win a Golden Globe, was honored with a standing ovation at the ceremony. She won the award in 2022 for her role in the series “Pose”.
“I thought, wow, I wish MJ was on that stage, getting the standing ovation she deserved for making history. And I’m thrilled to say that MJ is one of my guests tonight,” Murphy said, drawing applause and cheers from the audience. “So, MJ, please stand up and let’s give her the ovation she deserves.”
Murphy said he also thinks of the accomplishments of Niecy Nash-Betts.
“She was told only a few years ago, when she wanted to marry the love of her life, Jessica, that she couldn’t – shouldn’t – do that, that she might never work again, her community and her industry would abandon her,” Murphy said. “Niecy Nash chose love, not fear.”