Sterling K. Brown subtly shades Nicole Kidman over Emmy speeches

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This is Us is (finally) back for its second season, and with that, the show’s stars have been hitting the promotional trail pretty heavily, especially the show’s Emmy winner and all-around nice guy, Stirling K.Brown. On Monday night, Brown, 41, made an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to talk about the show and his new movie, Marshall, which opens on October 13. When asked if he was glad his fame arrived when he got an little older, Sterling replied “If you get it young, you don’t necessarily have the appreciation for the moment that’s happening right now.”

That moment for Sterling was receiving his second Emmy for This is Us a few weeks ago, and since Stephen hosted the ceremony you know it was going to be the subject of at least some conversation. As far as beating such esteemed actors as Anthony Hopkins and Kevin Spacey, Sterling admitted, “It’s absolutely insane. I never envisioned that this moment was going to transpire in my life, and now that it’s happened, it just feels so sweet. It really does.”

Stephen brought up the fact that Sterling’s wonderful Emmy speech was cut off and apologized, saying he watched backstage as the music swelled in an attempt to cut the actor short and recalled thinking “I’m the host, I can stop this!” He apologized to Stirling for not getting out on stage faster to allow him to finish. Sterling cooly replied, “Not everyone can be pretty Australian white women who have won Oscars in the past…” to which the audience gave a collective response that can be best described as an “Oh, no he didn’t” reaction. Of course, Sterling was kidding, following up with “It’s not her fault. You gotta go to commercial break.” He added that having the opportunity to finish his thank you in the press room was “perfect.”

In his post-Emmy speech, Sterling acknowledged his wife, actress Ryan Michelle Bathe, who happens to be his college sweetheart. Actually, as Sterling told Stephen, the two dated and broke up through college and grad school, but have been together since 2004 and have two sons. Sterling shared that his six-year-old son does something that “takes the piss” out of his Dad, a little something he calls the “booty dance” (which I suspect looks similar to this) and, thankfully, gave the Late Show audience a brief demonstration of said dance. He went on to say that his son gives “not a flying fig newton” about his father’s success. Watch the interview, the booty dance alone is definitely worth your time.

Sterling also joined his This is Us co-stars Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia on Monday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. There, he performed a little impromptu dance routine during a bit where Ellen allowed him to finish his Emmy speech, only to keep interrupting him with “get off the stage” music. The last time, an R&B jam played and Sterling shook his groove thing.

Ellen continued to demonstrate that she can get celebrities to do just about anything by getting Sterling out of his shirt and onto a kid’s toy tractor. Since this was Sterling’s first appearance on the show, the host wanted to make him feel “just like family.” So, she combined Mandy’s last appearance, where she rode on a toy tractor and Milo’s appearance where he went shirtless in a dunk tank in the name of breast cancer, and asked Sterling to strip off his shirt and ride the tractor. Fortunately for all of us, Sterling was game, peeled off his shirt and squeezed his frame onto the tractor for a ride around the stage. I don’t know about you, but I think a Daytime Emmy is on the way.

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84 Responses to “Sterling K. Brown subtly shades Nicole Kidman over Emmy speeches”

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  1. Nicole says:

    Is it shade if it’s true? And that wasn’t shade at nicole it was at the Emmys and the Hollywood system

    • Skylark says:

      Yes, I’m confused by the headline. He clearly was having a dig at the system, not Nicole.

    • Louise177 says:

      @Nicole: Agree. He didn’t shade Nicole at all but the system that gave preference to a white, Oscar winner. I wonder why award shows just don’t give a time limit. Not the best option but they cut some speeches too short, usually for time, while early winners can ramble for awhile.

    • Ceire says:

      I don’t think it was either subtle, nor shade.

    • derpshooter says:

      It ain’t shade if it’s that pointed and obvious. True or not.
      RIP Shade Court.


    • lavin says:

      I love when he speaks at the award shows, he’s so sincere and always thanks people who helped him get even his first job. He’s always a beautiful man. His family is lovely.
      He’s right.
      I also loved his Dick Whitman reference at the Emmys, It made me go watch Mad Men again. LOL

    • lavin says:

      I was pissed that they cut off the lady from Saturday Night Live who won and tried to Thank Hillary Clinton. They cut her off. It was totally rude.

  2. Crowdhood says:

    His body is better than my cup of coffee this morning 🔥

    • tegteg says:

      I had NO idea that’s what he was hiding under his suit…. I think he has the most beautiful body I’ve ever seen


      • Jenny says:

        tegteg: Really? His pecs look weird to me. Over-deveoped and take away from the symmetry of his body. But then overly muscular dudes have never been my thing. He is good-looking but his wife is absolutely stunning especially in that yellow dress.

    • V4Real says:

      His wife is pretty.

      His body type is similar to my bf, thin but muscular

    • Snowflake says:

      Yes he is buff. He doesn’t look like he would be that built when he’s wearing clothes

  3. runcmc says:

    That ring on his wife’s finger is comically large. I hope that was on loan for the event and not her actual ring because it’s ridiculous!

  4. GiBee says:

    What happened was incredibly shit but it’s not exactly Nicole’s fault… Glad he clarified but you don’t have to look back far to a time when female acceptance speeches were consistently cut short and men could go on forever. Plus I’d say it’s much more of a level of fame thing – no one would have cut Denzel off.
    Anyway as I said it’s good he clarified but it’d be better to clearly send the blame where it belongs. And keep doing it!

    • QueenB says:

      And there was also a time when people needed to work hard physical labor and couldnt make millions playing pretend. Lets not rush to the defense of one of the most privileged women in all of history. It was a little joke and Nicole will get over it.

    • cr says:

      Definitely more of an Emmys thing than a Nicole thing, and I don’t think she’s going to take it personally. And part of is Nicole’s stature in the industry, and that she was earlier in the evening (less time constraint). If he wins again next year he probably won’t get cut off.
      Consistency in limiting how long winners can talk would help, I hadn’t watched for so long I didn’t know whether the Emmys had a limit or not. I know the Oscars did.
      I didn’t watch the last part of the awards, but according to IndieWire, Nicole’s speech wasn’t that much longer than Sterling’s:
      “One of the more eyebrow-raising moments of the 69th annual Emmy Awards came when Sterling K. Brown, accepting the award for Best Actor in a Drama (the first time the Emmy had gone to an African-American man since Andre Braugher in 1998, whom Brown name-checked), was cut off mid-speech. It’s a pattern familiar to those who watch awards shows, especially given that the award was one of the last of the night. But exactly how long had Brown been talking at that point? And how did the length of his speech compare to others of the evening?
      Sterling K. Brown, “This is Us,” Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: 2 minutes, 21 seconds..
      And here’s where it gets interesting. When Brown got played off the stage, he tried to fight it — but his speech still ended up being the second longest of the night. (Brown was given the chance to finish his speech in front of reporters in the Emmy press room.) However, the longest speech was…
      Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies,” Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series: 2 minutes, 45 seconds..

      • tracking says:

        Okay, so let’s deal with complaints from someone whose speech was not the second-longest of the night!

    • aenflex says:


  5. Alison says:

    As someone whose character explores adoption I thought he would be shading her for talking about her two children when in fact she has four.

    • Whoopsy Daisy says:

      To be fair, I don’t think the issue with Nicoles older children is the fact that they’re adopted, but the fact that they’re scientologists like their dad? No?

      • Horse Marine says:

        Absolutely. Blame the horror that is scientology. Kidman didn’t choose to be labeled a suppressive person. The kids were poisoned against her. She did not reject them.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      Nobody should shade her for anything to do with her kids. That entire thing is so f*cked, I feel terrible for her. I think at some point she realized fighting it won’t make anything better so she’s probably biding her time until they hopefully have an epiphany. Although that would mean they realize who their father is. A crazy lunatic. So …

      • mayamae says:

        I’m seeing this sentiment a lot, and everywhere. Makes me wonder if CO$ is involved.

      • cf86713 says:

        Except Katie left with her kid and Nicole didn’t. Everyone talked about how Katie should’ve known better etc but nobody ever says this about Nicole and she has friends in high places(Rupert Murdoch) that could’ve helped her but she never even attempted.

        So yeah I have a hard time feeling bad for her over this.

        There were probably other children who were ripped away from their mothers that didn’t have her $$$ and fame.

      • magnoliarose says:


        It is not her fault and how do you know if she attempted? They want nothing to do with her so she respects that by NOT making it an issue that would have grabbed headlines and embarrassed them. It is silly to think she should have done it differently. TC had plenty of power too so it isn’t like it would have been easy and why in the world would she involve Rupert.

    • tracking says:

      Ugh, this again? She spoke about her two younger children because she was talking about the fact that she’s often not there to tuck them in at night due to work. She wasn’t omitting her older two kids–the issue of being put to bed without mom while she was working on BLL does not pertain to them. I believe she said something very loving about the two older kids in a speech she gave about Lion and adoption a year or so ago.

      • Alison says:

        That’s fair… I read a thinkpiece about adoption shortly afterward related to this incident (Rebecca Carroll of brief xojane fame). I do get the context and am not blaming her per se, her two w Tommy Boy have long flown the nest + Scientology but my knee-jerk reaction was the adoption angle because of the show.

    • nica says:

      @Alison – Your comment isn’t fair or accurate. She talked about her 2 youngest in reference to not being available to put them to bed during filming. They’re the ones at home. They’re the ones affected by her working long hours. Her older children aren’t at home with her. They’re adults, so what she was saying did not apply to them. She has mentioned them on many other occasions.

    • Lucy e. says:

      Her two older children have cut her out of their lives. I think she’s just respecting their feelings by not mentioning them on national television.

    • magnoliarose says:

      This has been such a non-issue I do wonder why this goes around and around. If they don’t want anything to do with her why would she thank them? They play no part in her life so how can they be an inspiration or factor in anything in anymore. As adults, they continue to reject her, so they made their choice. Crazy cult over mother.

  6. M. says:

    I didn’t realize he was so! What a gorgeous man and wonderful actor.

  7. smcollins says:

    He was obviously shading the Emmys, not Nicole (as he clarified), but when you’re right you’re right. I also agree with @gibee that it may have been more of a fame thing? I don’t know. His star is definitely on the rise but he’s not an A-list, Oscar-winning actor either. Not yet, anyway.

  8. Jess says:

    Those videos made me smile so hard, how fun is he?!? He seems genuinely nice, and good god that body. I agree with other commenters, he wasn’t shading Nicole personally!

  9. Lucy2 says:

    I can’t remember, but was Nicole talking about domestic violence towards the end of her speech? There may have been hesitant to cut her off if she was. Either way, all recipients should receive the same amount of time, or they need a better system to tell people to wrap it up. I get they don’t want to let them go on forever, but playing music in the middle of their speaking always seems rude.

    • Marianne says:

      I remember at the Golden Globes when Taraji won she said something like “30 seconds, na uh, Ive been waiting 20 years for this”. So, I do believe the teleprompters have a countdown.

  10. Anna says:

    I get that he’s joking, but still side eye a man who comments on a woman getting to speak more than hon, especially when she is talking about domestic violence… But oh well, he seems like a nice guy.

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah it’s bugging the hell out of me that nobody is pointing to that fact but people don’t care much about context these days….

  11. DiamondGirl says:

    Ok, you won an Emmy. That doesn’t automatically put you on the same level as someone who’s been A-list for at least over 20 years.

    • perplexed says:

      I think he seemed to acknowledge that when he said she won the Oscar. That he referenced her as the pretty Australian seemed to indicate he knows that her fame is so large we’d all understand he was talking about a much more famous person. It’s not like he said the lady who was once married to Tom Cruise…

      When I watched the clip and heard his tone, he didn’t really sound particularly harsh.

    • Tanya says:

      Oscars do not mean much anymore, especially when campaigning helps more than one’s performance. She won for The Hours and when you match it with others, I’d wouldn’t bow at her feet.

      A-list doesn’t equate to quality, particularly with Hollywood’s shifty ways.

  12. Morgan says:

    What has ‘australian’ got to do with anything?

    • Whoopsy Daisy says:

      I actually like that he included Australian. Because “white people” are not one entity and are not all treated equally. A white person from an English speaking country like Australia will get treated much better than a white person from Serbia or Armenia or Argentina etc.

    • ash says:

      @morgan…. here you go…

      I have a cup for your white tears jeez…. he made a joke and corrected himself….lord

  13. unmade_bed says:

    I was so happy he won, but his speech wasn’t impressive, and it felt long, so I was cringing at the way he acted when they started playing the music. He seemed to have a big chip on his shoulder.

    • tracking says:

      He comes across as a man with a healthy ego.

      • dexbex says:

        She’s more famous than him. she’s been an A-lister for years. Why does he expect the emmys to be fair?

      • sunshine gold says:

        Agree with all of you. The Emmys have been cutting off people from the start, let’s calm down! It has nothing to do with race and everything to do with pecking order.

  14. Div says:

    Sterling isn’t shading Nicole, he’s shading the Emmys.

  15. Roci says:

    Nicole Kidman is problematic, she says truly problematic things. Nobody remembers her saying people should get behind Trump and support him, “get in line” I think were her exact words. She gets a pass/ is left off the hook because the narrative re: Nicole Kidman revolves around the situation with her older kids. She is a moron.

    • lucy2 says:

      “Get in line” were not her exact words. She said as a country we should support him – which I and may people disagreed with, and did not give her a pass.

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah no. She definitely DIDN’T get a pass on that.

      • cf86713 says:

        True she was criticized for like a day but then BLL came along and it was all forgotten. People have been cancelled for far less around here.

    • Ana says:

      What she said, literally, was: “He’s now elected, and we as a country need to support whoever is the president because that’s what the country’s based on.” Because, you know, that’s what Democracy means. She was talking about the figure and not the person. And that was said before he took office, so you can’t say she’s problematic for being a democrat (not as a party) that was hopeful the new president wouldn’t be as much of a jackass as he turned out to be.

      What else makes her problematic? Her activism for women? Her work ethics? Her work with refugees in war zones (a lot more quiet than always on the front news Angelina Jolie)? Please, enlighten us.

      • magnoliarose says:

        A lot of people said that in hopes it wouldn’t be as bad as it is. No one knew that then or at least had to believe something since it felt like crap that he won. Obama said the same thing.

    • cf86713 says:


  16. Jenna says:

    Wow. His family is beautiful. He is sizzling. And him being happily married just makes this more enjoyable.

    • The Rickest Rick says:

      Please don’t let us find out he’s been cheating, oh please! I’m starting to think this every time I see a wonderfully happy celebrity family with a seemingly great, caring husband. He and his family seem lovely and happy and I hope they remain this way.

      On another note, I have never watched This Is Us, but I know the premise and I saw an ad for it the other day. Mandy Moore, is it?, saying how perfect life is or something. So this show is about a happy family with a perfect life but we all know he is going to die??!! That seems so awful to me. Is it the sick pleasure of watching a car crash, rubbernecking, that have people watching this show? Just waiting to see all the happiness utterly destroyed? Dang.

  17. Ana says:

    The problem with these awards (and all the others that are televised) is that they have to blend being an Academy event with being a televised show that still needs ratings. Producers probably still think (and maybe they’re right?) that Hollywood stars are more attractive to viewers than TV stars. Also, the show goes out to the rest of the world live and Nicole Kidman is a lot better recognized than Sterling in other countries. I don’t think it’s just about being white and pretty but overall a “star” with trajectory. Also, this has been happening for so long, how is it that people still don’t plan their speeches ahead to be short and to the point? Sterling was the favorite to win, it’s also his responsibility to prepare a speech that will fit within the given time. I always find that stars that go over their alloted time are quite disrespectful to the other winners and the audience who, let’s face it, in its majority isn’t really interested in hearing you thank 100 people.

  18. mayamae says:

    What a beautiful man. I watch the show for him and his family. William almost killed me.

    • tracking says:

      His tv family and his real-life family are beautiful. I loved William, too–his was my favorite character and the show will not be the same without him.

  19. Michelle Scott says:

    SIT DOWN Mr. Brown. Nicole Kidman has worked her butt off in a male-dominated industry, you’ve done one TV show.

    • Miss Grace Jones says:

      Good job telling a black man to sit down for a white woman who doesn’t have to work nearly as hard to be acknowledged. Because God knows there’s a dirth of pale blonde women in Hollywood.

      • MrsBump says:

        Uhh.. why even bring race into this? If it was Will Smith making a speech, do you really think it would have been cut off?
        I have no clue who this guy is, i’m sure he’s talented, but he’s nowhere near Kidman’s level of fame. Also, she is an actress in her 40′s, let’s not pretend that she has it SO easy in an industry that spits you out after 30, blonde or not. It’s a testament to her talent that she has survived that long. I’m far more interested to hear what she has to say, and for your info, I’m a WOC too.

      • Lady Rain says:

        Hollywood has a continuing problem with sexism but let’s not pretend that there isn’t a dearth of POC onscreen in movies and TV shows.

        He deserved as much screen time as Nicole for his speech and doesn’t need to “sit” like some dog.

        This is an issue of intersectionality where POC and women are constantly discriminated against in Hollywood and no one should be told to “sit” for expressing their opinion.

        This is exactly why I refuse to support white feminism because of its constant one-sidedness, lack of empathy for POC, and inability to acknowledge intersectionality. Give me intersectional feminism (i.e., womanism) any day.

    • Tanya says:

      Perhaps, you should sit down. He has not done one show, which shows your lack of exposure. Nicole’s one white woman out of many that has enjoyed their status, despite sexism, without a dearth of roles.

      Worked her butt off? Maybe. But, when the door’s opened for you from the go, and closed to others, I would say her butt’s intact.

  20. paddingtonjr says:

    For the first time in a long time, I was genuinely happy for an Emmy winner. I have been a Sterling fan since Army Wives and he seemed truly honored and humbled. I am glad he was able to finish his speech later and that Stephen apologized to him, although it was really the producers’ fault. BTW, IMHO, Sterling has one of the cutest families in Hollywood!

  21. Lori says:

    Ive had a small crush on Sterling ever since I saw him on a random episode of Supernatural a long time ago. He is beautiful! Glad to see him being so successful now, just so I get to see interviews with him. He seems like a great guy. *swoon*

    • Mrs. Darcy says:

      I just Googled to see who he played, I never put two and two together there! I do remember his character Gordon in Supernatural though. He is so charismatic and really underplays that if anything in the roles I have seen him in, This Is Us and People vs. O.J. I appreciated him giving deserved credit to the actor who plays his birth father in This is Us, he must know how crucial those scenes were for his winning. I do think This Is Us is a bit of a glorified soap (albeit a very good one), the characters aren’t always as complex as some other shows, but he brings a lot of dimension to anything he does. I think he is going to have a pretty huge career if he plays it right.

      • Lori says:

        I havent gotten around to seeing This is Us yet, so I mostly remember him from the smaller work he has been doing over the years. I didnt even know he was a big show until I read this post. This is Us just flew to the top of my Must Watch list!

  22. Marianne says:

    I dont think its so much that shes white…and more that shes a big A-lister. That being said, it definitely still sucks to have your big shining moment cut short.