Billy Porter is taking on critics who feel he won’t be able to accurately portray writer and activist James Baldwin.

While as a guest on Tamron Hall, Hall asked the Pose and Broadway actor about his opinion on people who are questioning his ability to play Baldwin in the film. He responded as defiantly as you’d expect.


“First and foremost, the internet has created a space where it’s made people think that their opinion matters at all,” he said, according to Entertainment Weekly. “I am 53 years old and I’ve dedicated my life to my art and my craft. Question me at your own peril.”


He added, “Call it whatever you want, arrogant…I’ve worked hard for this, and my mantra–and I say it all the time–I do not now, nor will I ever, adjudicate my life or humanity in sound bites on social media. I’m going to focus on the work–that’s all I can do. People have been doubting me my whole life. This ain’t nothing new.”


Porter is writing the film with Dan McCabe based on David Leeming’s biopic James Baldwin: A Biography. As Shadow and Act previously reported, Porter will also co-produce via his production company, Incognegro Productions with Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group. Incognegro Productions’ D.J. Gugenheim is also producing with Allen, Carolyn Folks, Matthew Signer, Jennifer Lucas and Chris Charalambous.


Watch a clip of Porter’s interview with Tamron Hall below