After becoming the first openly gay black man to take home the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama series, the actor had to quickly swift gears from celebrating his historical win to shutting down the rumor that he gave the reality TV host the "side-eye" on the telecast.
“Let me make this clear right now in this room to everybody. Right now. There was never a side-eye coming from me,” he told the reporters backstage at the Microsoft Theater.
The drama began when cameras caught Porter with a blank expression on his face and what some interpreted as shade during Rupaul's acceptance speech for the Outstanding Reality Series trophy for "Rupaul's Drag Race."
"There's never anything negative coming from me. You're never going to get from it. Okay. It's all love, all love, it's all positivity. Don't come to me with that," Porter continued.
He then detailed his close relationship with RuPaul and said the perceived slight was probably the camera filming him at the wrong time.
"They can catch me and it can look like a side-eye, [but] RuPaul is a friend of mine," he said. "I am so proud of him. I stand on his shoulders. I stand on his shoulders. He is doing it. He paved the way for me, so there's never a side-eye about that."
Meanwhile, Porter explained to the reporters how important it was for him to win the award playing Pray Tell, the outspoken emcee of the house balls in 1980s New York City, in FX's hit drama "Pose/" The show includes the largest cast of transgender actors and LGBTQ actors in TV history.
"I feel like physical representation are the only things that create change. It's when we are available, that we have the power to create empathy," he said. "Through the way we tell stories."
Porter hopes "young queer people of all colors can look at me and know that they can."