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Ryan Murphy 2023 Golden Globes Speech Deliverd to LGBTQ Kids  

Ryan Murphy captivated the Golden Globe audience while accepting his tribute award when he chose to spend his time on the Hollywood stage speaking directly to LGBTQ youth watching at home.

The TV mogul of American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Feud and Glee fame was honored with the Carol Burnett Award at the Jan. 10 ceremony.

“Tonight’s award made me reflect on what a lifetime of achievement really is,” said Murphy when accepting the honor, noting that he got the opportunity to direct Burnett on Glee. “You get there for being fearless.”

To open his speech, Murphy shouted out Pose star Michaela Jae “MJ” Rodriguez for becoming the first trans actress to have won a Golden Globe in 2021, the year the show wasn’t televised following the HFPA scandal and awards show boycott.

Murphy then listed out the achievements of some of his stars who were in the room, including Pose actors Billy Porter, who introduced Murphy to the stage, and MJ, who was Murphy’s date; Dahmer Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story nominee Niecy Nash; The Normal Heart and AHS star Matt Bomer; and Hollywood star and The Inspection nominee Jeremy Pope.

“I’ve dedicated most of my lifetime achievement speech here tonight to these wonderful actors I’ve worked with to make a point of hope and progress,” he said, captivating the audience. “When I was a young person at home in the ’70s watching The Carol Burnett Show, I never ever saw a person like me getting an award or even being a character on a TV show. It’s hard being an LGBTQ kid in America. In fact, all over the world, then and now. And I have one word for you: Florida.”

He continued, “You are often told you will never become anything. You have to hide your life to survive. But for those kids watching tonight, I offer up MJ and Billy and Niecy and Matt and Jeremy as examples of possibility. There is a way forward, use them as your North stars.”

Murphy went on to say that “for 25 years, that’s all I’ve ever tried to do here in Hollywood. My mission was to take the invisible, the unloved and make them the heroes I longed to see but never did in pop culture.”

He thanked his family, team, agents, allies at both FX and Netflix and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. He also rattled off a list of actors who have stuck with him “repeatedly through thick and thin” who were not in attendance — Jessica Lange, Julia Roberts, Lady Gaga, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, Sarah Paulson, Gwyneth Paltrow and producing partner Brad Falchuk. He also expressed gratitude for more “special people” who were also in the room, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance, Jennifer Coolidge, Richard Jenkins, Evan Peters, Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner (his first producers), and Steven Spielberg, who he said bought his first-ever script When God Was a Boy.

To close his speech, he tugged on his ear in a nod to Burnett, who told him she would do so in a secret signal to her beloved grandmother during their time together on Glee “when all was good.”

Murphy was introduced to the stage by Porter, with the Emmy, Tony and Grammy winner listing out a string of accolades about Murphy: “Prolific. Visionary. Game-changer. Trailblazer. Champion of truth. Fearless. Bossman. Workaholic. Ally. Mentor. Friend.”

He continued, “There aren’t enough words in the English language to convey what you mean to me.”

Porter said that when he first arrived in Hollywood and discovered the town “wasn’t having all this Black boy joy,” it was Murphy whose “fearless art spoke to me, comforted me and let me know if I could just hold on a little while longer, my time would come.” Sixteen years later, he got the call for Pose.

Noting how Pose creator Steven Canals famously got 162 passes on the FX series, Porter said, “The 163rd meeting with Ryan turned out to be the singular ‘yes’ our community needed to finally have our stories, our lives, our souls honored, validated and seen.”

The award, one of the night’s highest honors, was established in 2019. After honoring Burnett that year, the Globes have since recognized Ellen DeGeneres and Norman Lear. 

Murphy, a five-time Globes nominee, has promoted equality in Hollywood with boundary-pushing and inclusive storylines. His FX drama Pose made history by featuring the largest transgender series regular cast and the largest LGBTQ cast for a scripted series. Other credits include Halston, Hollywood, The Politician, Ratched, The Andy Warhol Diaries, Broadway’s The Boys in the Band and TV movie The Normal Heart, among others.

His most recent offerings, The Watcher and Dahmer Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, broke viewership records at Netflix and earned swift season two renewals.

Murphy has also created inclusion opportunities off-camera through his Half Initiative, where he set out to have 50 percent of all director slots on his shows filled by women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community.

“Ryan Murphy not only continues to enthrall audiences with his work on some of the most thrilling and exciting series of the century but also continues to inspire all with his work off the screen,” said HFPA president Helen Hoehne, in part, of Murphy’s selection.

On the red carpet earlier in the night, Nash shared the most impactful note she ever received from Murphy while starring in the true crime series. “He told me, ‘I trust you,’” she said. “That’s weighty, coming from someone with that pedigree. To say, ‘I trust you,’ I internalized that. To me, I should trust my gift. Ryan will forever have me at hello.”

The annual honoree is selected by the Globes governing body, the HFPA’s board of directors, based on the person’s “body of work and the lasting impact that their television career achievements have had on both the industry and audiences.”

The Golden Globes ceremony returned to NBC this year after a year off the air amid a scandal within the Globes’ parent organization following an exposé in the Los Angeles Times. The ceremony was hosted by comedian Jerrod Carmichael and aired live on NBC and Peacock.

The HFPA is owned by Eldridge Industries.   is owned by PME Holdings, LLC, a joint venture between Penske Media Corporation and Eldridge.

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