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Film and TV

Billy Porter just read the hate group that tried to ban him from Sesame Street in the classiest way

Reiss Smith March 2, 2020
Billy Porter at 123 Sesame Street

Billy Porter at 123 Sesame Street (Facebook)

Billy Porter gave a lesson in being the bigger person as he read the anti-LGBT+ group that tried to have him banned from Sesame Street.

The Pose actor seriously triggered right-wing anti-LGBT+ activists back in January by announcing a guest stint on the long-running children’ show.

Porter shared photos of himself on set wearing his iconic tuxedo gown.

Predictably, tens of thousands of homophobes signed a petition organised by the campaign group One Million Moms, urging HBO and PBS to cancel the episode before its planned fall premiere.

One Million Moms, a group that is part of the American Family Association, labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre.

Porter previously hit back at critics, telling them: “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.”

He went one step further over the weekend, directly addressing One Million Moms on Instagram.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

One of the highlights of my life has been the opportunity to sing on the set of @sesamestreet with my new pal, Penelope the penguin. Together, we sang about the possibilities of new friendships with those who may not be exactly like us. I know people are all up in arms about me wearing the gorgeous custom @csiriano tuxedo dress that I wore at @theacademy awards in 2019 for the upcoming season. If you follow me, however, you know the impact it had. The emails, DMs, and messages of good will I received that day (and continue to receive) from parents and their children who have been bullied all over the world and desperately need to see someone like me, being their authentic selves on mainstream media, is far more important than anything #onemillionmoms could ever say. Friendship, kindness and inclusivity shall triumph. And often, it simply starts by saying hi. #sesamestreet #season51 🐧 🤵🏿@pbs . . Wearing custom @csiriano Styling by @sammyratelle

A post shared by Billy Porter (@theebillyporter) on

“I know people are all up in arms about me wearing the gorgeous custom @csiriano tuxedo dress that I wore at @theacademy awards in 2019 for the upcoming season,” he wrote on February 28.

“If you follow me, however, you know the impact it had.

“The emails, DMs, and messages of good will I received that day (and continue to receive) from parents and their children who have been bullied all over the world and desperately need to see someone like me, being their authentic selves on mainstream media, is far more important than anything #onemillionmoms could ever say.

“Friendship, kindness and inclusivity shall triumph. And often, it simply starts by saying hi.”

Sharing a photo of himself on the steps of 123 Sesame Street, Porter said that his visit had been “one of the highlights” of his life.

Together with his “new pal” Penelope the Penguin, Porter said he had sung “about the possibilities of new friendships with those who may not be exactly like us”.

Porter was applauded by his 1.4 million followers, with Christian Siriano – who designed the tuxedo gown for him – commenting: “Love you.”

Mason Alexander Park, star of iCarly and Hedwig & The Angry Inch, wrote: “This is why you are a legend, inspiration, and frankly, a personal hero. So much love.”

Artist Jeremy Kost added: “Growing up I was obsessed with Oscar the Grouch… now I’m obsessed with Billy Porter and it’s time the world finally feels the same.”

More: American Family Association, Billy Porter, one million moms, Sesame Street

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