Billy Porter has apologized to Harry Styles for his comments over the latter’s historic Vogue cover. The apology comes a few weeks after the former slammed the magazine for featuring the One Direction alum as its first solo male cover star.
The Pose actor addressed his statements during a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He clarified that he did not intend to target Harry Styles through his remarks but attempted to call out a system that fails to acknowledge the contribution of people of color to culture:
“The first thing I wanna say is, Harry Styles, I apologize to you for having your name in my mouth. It’s not about you. The conversation is not about you. The conversation is actually deeper than that. It is about the systems of oppression and erasure of people of color who contribute to the culture. I’m sorry, Harry. I didn’t mean no harm.”
The actor also mentioned that he is ready to have a “real conversation” about the situation without being a target of “cancel culture”:
"I'm willing to unpack it, sans the dragging and cancel culture of the internet, because I do not now, nor will I ever, adjudicate my life or humanity in sound bites on social media."
Billy Porter previously left Harry Styles' fans enraged by his comments against the pop star’s magazine cover. However, the singer did not respond to Porter’s opinion.
Billy Porter’s comments against Harry Styles magazine cover explained
Harry Styles created history with his appearance in the December 2020 issue of Vogue, becoming the first male solo star to be featured on the cover of the magazine. The 26-year-old also made waves for donning a Gucci dress for the historic cover.
Styles was largely praised for breaking gender stereotypes and representing androgynous fashion styles.
However, Porter was left disappointed with the cover and claimed he has never been acknowledged for making similar fashion choices and attempting to break the norms of toxic masculinity over the years:
In an interview with The Sunday Times, the Emmy Award winner said:
“I changed the whole game. And that is not ego, that is just fact. I was the first one doing it and now everybody is doing it. 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… in a dress on their cover for the first time.”
Billy Porter has long been vocal about breaking stereotypes in the fashion industry. The actor has been sporting fashionable gowns and dresses on the red carpet for several years.
The fashion icon mentioned that his journey to bring a remarkable change in the industry has been much more difficult compared to Harry Styles, especially due to alleged racial issues stemming within the system:
“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 down.”
However, the acclaimed actor has now issued an apology for his remarks clarifying that his views were not against Harry Styles but the underlying discrimination in the industry. Meanwhile, the musician has continued to maintain his silence on the issue.