'Those that don't know their history are doomed to repeat it': Billy Porter

The "Pose" actor explains the importance of sharing the show's story, and whether Hollywood has become inclusive enough.
2:51 | 06/14/19

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Transcript for 'Those that don't know their history are doomed to repeat it': Billy Porter
Yes. Just the second season is beginning. Yes. You play pray tell an emsee in the '780s and '90s world of transgender and the ballroom world. Why is it important to tell this story now? I think that, well, I know that those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it. We're in the middle of a crossroads in our country and the world in general. You know, democracy is at stake. You know, people's rights, people's humanity continues to be up for legislation which is ridiculous. We've seen this before. I came out in 1985. We went straight to the front lines to fight for our lives. I know what this looks like. I'm an activist. I know what it looks like. I've seen it before and so what we do once again as artists, we get to in a creative way pull people in to these story, pull people in to these journeys, these things that happen in the past that relate to what's happening right now. Do you feel like you're seeing it again. I am seeing it again. I don't feel like. It is. Love always wins. Love always did win. Love always wings. It might take some time. It might take some time but we got to be patient. I stand on the shoulders of slaves, I know what it looks like. I know what that is. Love still always wins. I might not be with you when we make it to the mountaintop but we gonna get there. All right. I hope so. People like to talk about inclusiveness in the entertainment industry but we know that hasn't always been the case for you and that you are actually passed over for a few roles before you got "Pose." That surprised me given you were so successful on Broadway. Do you think we're making waves or not? I think that we've come a long way. You know, just in terms of inclusivity, in terms of somebody else's story being told outside of white men. We have a long way to go. You know, it's really thrilling -- I'm so grateful that I lived to see this day that "Pose" existing on television that we have a space for that kind of representation. If I had that kind of representation as a little black sissy kid growing up you can you imagine? It's just -- we're all valid. We're all human and we're all valid. We don't have to agree, right? That's what I love about this show so much. It's not about acceptance, I don't need your acceptance, I don't need your tolerance but what I require is your respect. What I demand is your respect just as I respect yours and everybody else, you know. Well you are here to stay and you have opened up the door for so many people. Thank you. And I thank you for that. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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