Billy Porter Apologized For Mentioning Harry Styles In His Critique Of Vogue's Cover: 'The Conversation Is Not About You'
Porter originally credited himself for changing "the whole game" when it comes to men in dresses.
October 18, 2021 at 9:44 pm
Update (Nov. 8. 2021): In October, Billy Porter was upset after Vogue magazine decided to place Harry Styles on the Dec. 2020 cover wearing a gender-fluid outfit that included a baby blue dress, black trim, and a black blazer.
Porter appeared on Late Night With Stephen Colbert and extended an olive branch to Styles, saying, “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.”
“And so 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,” he added.
To further end any remnants of bad-blood between the two performers, Porter expressed his admiration for the young crooner: “I’m a gay man. We like Harry, he’s cute,” the Emmy award winner continued.
The former Pose actor originally took to Twitter to share his disapproval of the cover.
“I created the conversation [about non-binary fashion] yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time,” he said.
“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]. All he has to do is be white and straight,” Porter added.
Original (Oct. 29, 2021): Billy Porter wasn't a huge fan of Vogue's Harry Styles cover. The Emmy winner, in an interview with London's Sunday Times, said he wasn’t fond of the fanfare over a straight, white man being praised for wearing a dress. Styles graced the Dec. 2020 Vogue cover wearing a light-blue dress with black trim and a matching black blazer. The moment swiftly polarized fans, as Styles gained heavy applause and criticism, according to Today.
Billy Porter criticizes Vogue for featuring Harry Styles in a dress on their cover.
“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.” pic.twitter.com/1AhlRFJQ7F
— Pop Base (@PopBase) October 18, 2021
"I feel like the fashion industry has accepted me because they have to," Porter said. "I'm not necessarily convinced and here is why. I created the conversation (about nonbinary fashion) and yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time."
"I'm not dragging Harry Styles, but he is the one you're going to try and use to represent this new conversation?" the Pose alum continued. "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]. All he has to do is be white and straight."
Styles also discussed the separate spheres of men's and women's clothing in his cover story, saying that he's partial to either side.
“Clothes are there to have fun with and experiment with and play with. What’s really exciting is that all of these lines are just kind of crumbling away,” Styles said during his Vogue interview. “When you take away ‘There’s clothes for men and there’s clothes for women,’ once you remove any barriers, obviously you open up the arena in which you can play.”
Largely praised as a fashion icon for some of his looks, Porter pushed the movement of men openly wearing dresses forward. He gained major attention for his infamous Christian Siriano tuxedo gown, which he wore to the 2019 Oscars ceremony. Since then, he's been known to rock a skirt, gown or a cape on various red carpets. He continues to challenge Hollywood's binary gender norms, especially in his latest film. Porter portrayed a genderless fairy godparent who goes by the name Fab G in Amazon Prime's Cinderella alongside Camila Cabello.
“I changed the whole game,” Porter told the Sunday Times. “I. Personally. 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.”