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Ryan Murphy used his Golden Globes speech to give trans actress M.J. Rodriquez a standing ovation

In 2022, Rodriguez became the first transgender actor to win a Golden Globe but the event was not televised.

Ryan Murphy used his Golden Globes speech to give trans actress M.J. Rodriquez a standing ovation
Cover Image Source: NBC Live/Golden Globes

The Golden Globes 2023 was an absolutely star-studded event with several emotional speeches by the winners. Especially during Ryan Murphy's speech, there wasn't a dry eye in the audience. Murphy received the lifetime achievement award for contributing to the TV industry with brilliant shows like "Glee," "American Horror Story," "Pose" and most recently, "Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story." However, during his acceptance speech, he wanted to honor a special person: MJ Rodriguez, who became the first transgender actor to win a Golden Globe when she took home the award for Best Actress in a Drama TV Series for her role in "Pose" last year.

Image Source: Getty Images/Amy Sussman
Image Source: Getty Images/Amy Sussman

She made history by playing the role of Blanca in the hit series, a matriarch who forms the house Evangelista and battles with HIV. Unfortunately, Rodriguez never got to have her big moment on live TV as the event was held in an untelevised private ceremony in January 2022 after NBC refused to air the award show amid allegations of racism within the HFPA, according to ABC News.

During his speech this year, Murphy said: "A year ago, the Golden Globes weren’t televised, but the show did go on. And I was so thrilled when it was announced that MJ Rodriguez, from my show, 'Pose,' had been awarded Best Actress in a Drama Series. In doing so, MJ from Newark, New Jersey, became the first trans actress ever to win a Golden Globe. And I thought, 'Wow, how I would have loved for MJ to be on this stage getting the standing ovation she deserved for making history.'"


He continued, "I’m thrilled to say that MJ is one of my guests tonight. She’s here at my table. So, MJ, please stand up – and let’s give her the ovation that she deserves." As soon as Murphy requested, everyone in the audience stood up to applaud and honor the brilliant actress for her role in the powerful and impactful series.

Murphy also praised Matt Bomer, Niecy Nash, Billy Porter and a slew of other LGBTQ+ actors with whom he has collaborated throughout the years. He said, "I have dedicated most of my lifetime achievement speech here tonight to these wonderful actors I worked with to make a point of hope and progress. When I was a young person at home in the 70s watching The Carol Burnett Show, I never, ever saw a person like me getting an award or even being a character on a TV show."


He continued, "It’s hard being an LGBTQ kid. In fact, all over the world then, and now. And I have one word for you: Florida. You are often told you will never become anything, you have to hide your light to survive. But for those kids watching, tonight I offer up MJ and Billy and Niecy and Matt and Jeremy as examples of possibility." He wants all of the queer and trans children watching from home to be inspired by the achievements of these iconic actors. Murphy said, "There is a way forward. Use them as your north stars. For 25 years, that’s all I’ve ever tried to do here. My mission was to take the invisible, the unloved, and make them the heroes I long to see but never did in pop culture." 

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