Sterling K. Brown named one of TIME’s Most Influential People of 2018, and he deserves it

This Is Us star and Emmy-winner Sterling K. Brown adds another honor to his long list of achievements as he earns a place on TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list.

For Sterling K. Brown, the accolades and honors just keep on coming! On top of winning a pair of Emmys for his incredible work on television, Sterling K. Brown was included on the 2018 list of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People. The magazine announced the prestigious annual list earlier this week, and This Is Us fans were delighted to see Brown’s named among the other honorees.

It’s safe to say that since This Is Us took off like gangbusters in 2016 on the heels of his memorable turn in The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, both of which scored him well-deserved Emmy Award wins, Sterling K. Brown’s influence has been felt far and wide. As if we even need to list reasons, Brown was born to land on the TIME 100.

When Sterling K. Brown won his first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for This Is Us, an African American actor hadn’t won the award for close to two decades. Even nominations for actors of color were few and far between. Leading with talent first and class second (though spot the invisible margin between the two), Brown helped pave the way for an new and long overdue era of representation in television and film.

In honor of the TIME 100 list, Brown’s The People v. O. J. Simpson costar and fellow Emmy winner Sarah Paulson waxed poetic about the actor. Paulson’s passage will make fans jealous to not know the man otherwise known as Randall Pearson, though through interviews and his infallible transparency, it feels like we do. Here’s a taste of the beautiful words Paulson wrote about Sterling K. Brown: 

“If you ever have the pleasure of having him smile at you, laugh the laugh of a buddha from his soul, you would count yourself among the lucky. But you haven’t lived until you’ve seen him swagger toward you whilst singing ‘Who’s That Lady?,’ radiating light brighter than E.T.’s fingertip.”

Clearly, we haven’t lived. But that light brighter than E.T.’s fingertip radiates through the television screen. This Is Us fans, imagine for a second if one of his fellow Pearsons wrote the passage. There wouldn’t be a dry eye in the country. It would be the Super Bowl episode all over again. Nevertheless, make sure to read the entirety of Sarah Paulson’s short essay over on Congratulations, Sterling!

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Do you think Sterling K. Brown’s honor on the TIME 100 list is a long time coming? Whom else from the This Is Us cast deserves a shot at next year’s list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to keep the conversation going over on Twitter at @thisisuscrying!

This Is Us returns for Season 3 in September on NBC.