Sterling K. Brown's speech at the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards was one of several to be nudged off the stage by way of the play-off music, but viewers were less than enthusiastic about the actor being pressured to wrap up his acceptance for Best Drama Actor for his work in This Is Us.
Not only had the star paid tribute to those who'd stood on the stage to accept the prize before him — including Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, Mad Men's Jon Hamm, and Homicide: Life on the Street's Andre Braugher, the last black actor to win in the category before Brown — but he was also in the middle of honoring those he shared the screen with on the hit NBC drama with thoughtful, personalized verbal love letters to each of his co-stars.
When the music started to play him off, though, Brown complained about the volume of the tune and suggested that it was louder than others who'd been musically encouraged to wrap things up. He even tried to stay through it as the camera panned further and further away, distorting the audience's view of the actor onstage.
Perhaps it was because of his resistance to finishing or the fact that his words were so compelling, but social media erupted in a firestorm of frustration over Brown's speech being cut short.
Some called foul on other winners seemingly getting to speak longer.
Remember that time Nicole Kidman read a ten thousand page #Emmys speech uninterrupted but Sterling K. Brown got cut off after 30 seconds— Matthew D'Ambrosio™ (@drmattdambrosio) September 18, 2017
Breh, how did Nicole Kidman not get played off but they play off Sterling and cut off the mic?— Stephen tWitch Boss (@official_tWitch) September 18, 2017
They cut off Sterling K. Brown's lights but Nicole Kidman got to read the entire Australia Act of 1986— Ira Madison III (@ira) September 18, 2017
And many were left curious about what else he'd have to say, if given the time, since up to that point, his speech had been a treat to listen to.
So tacky that they played off Sterling K. Brown. He was great and I wanted to see him hit his dismount.— Jen Chaney (@chaneyj) September 18, 2017
Would even trade Oprah for more Sterling TBH— Carina MacKenzie (@cadlymack) September 18, 2017
That was a great speech by Sterling K. Brown - and it would've continued to be great, had it been allowed to. #Emmys— Dan Snierson (@dansnierson) September 18, 2017
The good news? Brown finished his speech backstage, albeit to a much smaller audience.
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