Billy Porter, 53, doubled down on his criticism of Harry Styles‘ Vogue cover, almost three years after the historic issue came out. The Pose star told The Telegraph in an interview published August 11 that he still has a problem with Harry, 29, being the first solo male to appear on the cover of the iconic fashion magazine in December 2020. “It’s not Harry Styles’ fault that he happens to be white and cute and straight and fit into the infrastructure that way,” Billy said. “It doesn’t feel good to me. You’re using my community — or your people are using my community — to elevate you. You haven’t had to sacrifice anything.”
Billy specifically criticized Vogue Editor In Chief Anna Wintour who he said had a conversation with him about plans for the magazine months before Harry’s issue came out. “That b**** said to me at the end, ‘How can we do better?’ And I was so taken off guard that I didn’t say what I should have said,” he said.
The Emmy Award winner, who is known for his unique gender-fluid fashion, explained that, in hindsight, he should have told Anna, “Use your power as Vogue to uplift the voices of the leaders of this de-gendering of fashion movement.” Billy added, “Six months later, Harry Styles is the first man on the cover.”
After Harry wore a Gucci dress for his Vogue cover, Billy spoke out against how the One Direction alum was being praised for breaking gender barriers despite being straight. “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,” Billy told The Sunday Times in Oct. 2021. “I’m not dragging Harry Styles, but he is the one you’re going to try and use to represent this new conversation?” the actor added at the time. “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 now. All he has to do is be white and straight.”
Billy later apologized for criticizing Harry when he went on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert in Nov. 2021. “Harry Styles, I apologize to you for having your name in my mouth. It’s not about you,” he said. “The conversation is not about you.” Billy added, “I’m sorry, Harry. I didn’t mean no harm. I’m a gay man. We like Harry. He’s cute.”