‘Pose’ Actor Billy Porter Apologizes to Harry Styles for Slamming His Vogue Cover

Harry Styles recently drew criticism from fellow entertainer Billy Porter for appearing on the cover of Vogue in a dress. Porter’s issue was not with Styles’ attire so much as the fact that he was the one chosen for the honor. 

Now, the Pose actor is walking back his comments and instead gushed about the singer. Here’s what happened and what Porter had to say. 

Billy Porter slammed Vogue for putting Harry Styles on the December 2020 cover 

Billy Porter is an actor, singer, and writer known for his high-fashion, gender-bending style. In October 2021, Porter aired his complaints about Vogue choosing Harry Styles as their cover model in December 2020. 27-year-old Styles wore a long, ruffled gown with lace details topped with a structured blazer on the famous fashion magazine’s cover. 

52-year-old Porter, who recently opened up about his HIV diagnosis, protested that Styles was not the appropriate model for the gender-defying look and implied that he would have been a better choice. 

“I. Personally. Changed. The. Whole. Game. And that is not ego, that is just fact,” Porter told The Sunday Times in October 2021 (via Bustle). “I was the first one doing it, and now everybody is doing it. I created the conversation, and yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time.”

Porter explained that his issue was not with Styles personally, but he maintained that the “Watermelon Sugar singer was the wrong choice for the androgynous cover. “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,” Porter said. “I had to fight my entire life to get to the place where I would wear a dress to the Oscars and not be gunned down. All he has to do is be white and straight.”

Billy Porter apologized to the singer for making negative comments about his Vogue cover

The Cinderella actor walked back his complaints about Styles less than a month after making them. He apologized to the “Sign of the Times” singer during his appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Nov. 6. 

“The first thing I wanna say is, Harry Styles, I apologize to you for having your name in my mouth,” Porter said. “It’s not about you. The conversation is not about you. 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 pointed out that he thinks the LGBTQ community likes Styles and complimented the singer’s looks. “I’m sorry, Harry. I didn’t mean no harm,” Porter said. “I’m a gay man. We like Harry; he’s cute.”

Harry Styles wears a pearl necklace and lace collar at an event.
Harry Styles | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Harry Styles’ fashion choices have made fans speculate about his sexuality for years

Styles is no stranger to having people comment on his fashion choices. Besides his work with One Direction and career as a solo artist, Styles is known for his flamboyant and feminine outfits. He frequently wears skirts, dresses, and accessories typically worn by women. 

The “Adore You” singer’s fashion sense and reluctance to publicly discuss his romantic life have led to some speculation about his sexuality. When asked about it in a 2019 interview with The Guardian, Styles declined to define his sexual preferences.

“It’s not like I’m sitting on an answer, and protecting it, and holding it back. It’s not a case of: I’m not telling you cos I don’t want to tell you. It’s not: ooh, this is mine, and it’s not yours. It’s: who cares? Does that make sense? It’s just: who cares?”

When asked about his fashion choices, Styles replied, “I tend to make decisions in terms of collaborators I want to work with. I want things to look a certain way. Not because it makes me look gay, or it makes me look straight, or it makes me look bisexual, but because I think it looks cool. And more than that, I dunno, I just think sexuality’s something that’s fun. Honestly? I can’t say I’ve given it any more thought than that.”

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