Billy Porter Apologizes to Harry Styles Over Vogue Dress Comments

Nearly two weeks after Billy Porter discussed Harry Styles’ history-making 2020 Vogue cover, the actor issued an apology to the singer, explaining that the “conversation is not about [him].”

By Kisha Forde Nov 05, 2021 2:23 PMTags
Watch: Billy Porter Apologizes to Harry Styles Over Recent Remarks

Billy Porter is clarifying his recent remarks about Harry Styles' historic Vogue cover.
Almost two weeks after the Pose star made headlines for addressing the publication's choice of their historic cover star, Billy has offered an apology to the musician—noting that the conversation is much bigger than Harry.
During his Nov. 4 appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Billy—sharing that he was surprised his recent comments "blew up" the way they did—said, "Harry Styles, I apologize to you for having your name in my mouth. It's not about you. The conversation is not about you." 

In case you may have missed it, the One Direction alum made history in November 2020 as the first man to appear solo on the cover of Vogue. History stats aside, the move made an even bigger splash since Harry graced the cover wearing a dress. Fast forward to October of this year when Billy, an actor known for his groundbreaking gender-fluid fashion statements, criticized the magazine cover choice, citing the lack of representation.

Billy Porter's Best Looks

"The conversation is actually deeper than that," Billy told host Stephen Colbert. "It is about the systems of oppression and erasure of people of color who contribute to the culture. Now, that's a lot to unpack. I'm willing to unpack it, sans the dragging and cancel culture of the Internet, because I do not now, nor will ever, adjudicate my life or humanity in sound bites on social media."

"So, when you're ready to have the real conversation, call a bitch," the actor quipped. "Okay? I'm ready to have it!" Addressing Harry once more, in true Billy Porter fashion, the star added, "I'm sorry, Harry. I didn't mean no harm. I'm a gay man. We like Harry, he's cute!"

The Emmy winner first cited Vogue's decision as an example of erasure when it comes to people of color in an October interview with The Sunday Times.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

"I feel like the fashion industry has accepted me because they have to. I'm not necessarily convinced and here is why," the actor said to the outlet. "I created the conversation [about non-binary fashion] and yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time."

Noting that the musician himself wasn't the issue, Billy added, "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. 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 now. All he has to do is be white and straight."

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