Billy Porter is clarifying the comments he made about Harry Styles. During his appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Thursday (Nov. 4), Porter opened up about his October interview with The Sunday Times, in which he called out Styles and his Vogue cover shoot, saying it was a snub to pioneers like himself who have made queer and genderfluid fashion more mainstream.
“Apparently I’m famous now, and it was a slow news day, so the first thing I want to say is, ‘Harry Styles, I apologize to you for having your name in my mouth,'” Porter said on Colbert. “It’s not about you. The conversation is not about you…the conversation is actually deeper than that. It is about the oppression and the erasure of people of color who contribute to the culture. That’s a lot to unpack. I’m willing to unpack it sans the dragging and culture of the Internet because I do not now, nor will I ever, adjudicate my life or humanity in sound bites on social media. So when you’re ready to have the real conversation, call a b—-h!”
“I’m sorry, Harry. I didn’t mean no harm. I’m a gay man. We like Harry. He’s cute!” the Pose actor added. The Grammy, Emmy and Tony winner also revealed that the amount of backlash he got for his comments took him off guard. “I am surprised because there are so many other important things on this earth to talk about,” he told Colbert.
Speaking with The Sunday Times last month, Porter said, “I feel like the fashion industry has accepted me because they have to. I’m not necessarily convinced and here is why…I created the conversation and yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time. I’m not dragging Harry Styles, but he is the one you’re going to try and use to represent this new conversation? He doesn’t care, he’s just doing it because it’s the thing to do,” he added. “This is politics for me. This is my life. I had to fight my entire life to get to the place where I could wear a dress to the Oscars and not be gunned down. All he has to do is be white and straight.”
Porter addressed his fight to be accepted by the world in his most recent single, “Children,” which he released on Oct. 15.
Watch Porter on Colbert below.