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Billy Porter Hosted The ACLU's Bill of Rights Gala

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Barbra Streisand, Rita Moreno, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and more appeared at the event.

Billy Porter Hosted The ACLU's Bill of Rights Gala

Billy Porter hosted this Sunday's ALCU Bill of Rights Gala, which consisted of an hour-long program celebrating the work of the ACLU. The event also served as a call to vote.

Barbra Streisand, Rita Moreno, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Martin Sheen, Sam Waterson, Diane Warren, Charlie Puth, David Byrne, Justin Tranter, Tom Morello, Norman Lear, The Chicks and Jason George also appeared at the event.

"The sitting president not only questions but threatens the integrity of our elections. He gives credence to white supremacy but he has previous little to say about the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. He attacks freedom of the press and the right to protest. He throws the legitimacy of our highest court into chaos, threatening the most basic rights of women and the LGBTQ community," said ACLU SoCal's executive director Hector Villagra.

Porter added, "To our white and non-Black friends, welcome to the conversation. I am glad you are engaged in the in this struggle, but do not imagine for one second that this is news. Black Americans have faced state oppression and violence daily for over 400 years. The hashtags and names we know so well - George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daniel Prude - are the results of centuries of unchecked institutional racism. Here we are, America at a TIPPING POINT with decisions to make come November. It is political. It is always for us political. Our democracy and our rights are on the ballot."

Billy Porter is a Tony and Grammy Award-winning, and Golden Globe-nominated, actor, singer, director, composer, and playwright from Pittsburgh, PA.

His electric portrayal of Pray Tell in FX's breakthrough series "Pose," earned him a Golden Globe nomination and a Critics' Choice Award nomination. On screen, Porter recently appeared on "American Horror Story: Apocalypse" and Baz Luhrman's "The Get Down" on Netflix. Under the direction of Barry Levinson, Porter starred in The Humbling, alongside Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig. His other film credits include Noel, The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy, Intern, Anastasia, and Twisted.

A veteran of the theatre, Porter recently reprised his role as Lola in the smash hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots, for which he won the 2013 Drama Desk and TONY AWARDS for Best Actor in a Musical. His other Broadway acting credits include the Tony nominated Broadway musical, Shuffle Along, directed by George C. Wolfe, Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named Moe, Grease, Smokey Joe's Café, and Dreamgirls (20th anniversary Broadway concert and LA Ovation Award). His Off Broadway and regional credits include Angels in America (Signature Theater), Romance In Hard Times, The Merchant of Venice, House of Lear, and Radiant Baby (The New York Shakespeare Festival), Birdie Blue (Second Stage), Angels in America (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Going Native (The Long Wharf), Jelly's Last Jam (Alliance), Topdog/Underdog (City Theatre), King Lear (Exit, Pursued By A Bear), Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World (original cast), Jesus Christ Superstar, Antigone, A Chorus Line, and Chicago. His one-man show Ghetto Superstar: The Man That I Am, debuted at The Public Theater in conjunction with City Theatre of Pittsburgh and was nominated for a 2005 GLAAD Media Award. Porter was also named "Pittsburgh's Performer of the Year 2003-2004" by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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