By Tyler Aquilina
August 28, 2020 at 02:56 PM EDT
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Watch the full episode of Couch Surfing streaming now on, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

If there's a humble way to compare yourself to former President Barack Obama, Tituss Burgess may have found it.

On the latest episode of PeopleTV's Couch Surfing, the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star discussed earning his fifth(!) Emmy nomination for the role of Titus Andromedon, reflecting on how meaningful it is for Black actors to be recognized in the midst of a national reckoning with racism.

"It never goes lost on me, my good fortune. It is a result of now being aware of how much representation matters," says Burgess, who is one of only a handful of openly LGBTQ Black actors to earn an Emmy nod. "When I got my first nomination, it reminded me of watching Barack Obama receive the Democratic nomination," he continues. "It wasn't until I saw him receive the nomination that I realized that I had been living my life obliging to the glass ceiling… So when I got that first nomination, I realized what a profound moment it was in the history of our people, and the history of people of color who are also in the LGBTQ+ community."

Of his most recent nomination, for reprising his role in Kimmy Schmidt's interactive special earlier this year, Burgess says, "This most recent one struck differently because of the national unrest, and realizing just how far we have not come… So to have our industry acknowledge me, and people who look like me, it says to me, 'Tituss, this has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with the moment, and those who are coming through the ranks, who are looking at this moment as a source of hope and motivation.'"

Check out video above for more, including Burgess discussing the challenges of shooting an interactive special with "900 different endings."

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