History will be made with Ryan Murphy’s upcoming FX series, Pose, casting five transgender actors as series regulars.
Pose is set in the 1980s and will look at segments of New York City life and society, including the rise of the Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene, and the ball culture world.
The history-making actors:
- MJ Rodriguez (Bianka)
- Indya Moore (Angel)
- Dominique Jackson (Elekta)
- Hallie Sahar (Lulu)
- Angelica Ross (Candy)
Other cast members include Ryan Jamaal Swain (Damon), Billy Porter (Pray Tell), and Dyllon Burnside (Ricky). The casting for the 1980s-set series was handled by casting director Alexa Fogel over the last six months.
Murphy co-created the series with Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals. Executive producers include Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall and Sherry Marsh for the Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions co-production.
“We are thrilled that Pose pushes the narrative forward by centering on the unique and under-told experiences of trans women and gay people of color,” Canals said in a statement according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Ryan has assembled a strong team of storytellers and innovators to collaborate on telling this important narrative. As a Bronx-bred queer writer of color, I’m honored to aid in ushering this groundbreaking show into homes.”
Canals has been writing scripts for the episodes with transgender writers Our Lady J and Janet Mock. Even more important for the series and transgender crew members, Ryan Murphy’s Half Initiative will help the show bring on transgender directors to be mentored through Murphy’s Directing Mentorship Program.
“This announcement today could not have come at a better time for the trans community,” Russell Boast, VP of CSA and Head of Diversity and Inclusion committee, told The Young Folks. “Our CSAInternational Open Call for transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming and genderqueer actors over the weekend surpassed all expectations and in a period of 48-hours, forty-five CSA members at 12 locations, in 4 countries around the world, saw almost five hundred members of the transgender community. CSA has stood behind equality for transgender performers and we are committed to sustaining our efforts.This kind of inclusion from mainstream media is way overdue and hopefully a message to trans people that they are valued and their talents and gifts are valued. The groundswell is working, we now know we have the talent, let’s start writing mainstream content for them.”
Ann Thomas, the founder of Transgender Talent, LLC, was encouraged by the news.
“I’m very much encouraged by the news about this show. Having five transgender actors playing transgender roles is truly ground breaking, and on a network like FX!” Thomas told The Young Folks. “Ryan Murphy seems to be doing it right by bringing in actual New York Ball people to consult. Having Silas Howard as an executive producer is truly amazing, then coupled with having Our Lady J and Janet Mock in the writer’s room, will make this series truly authentic. I so look forward to seeing it!”
Doubt had a history-making scene during the fourth episode of the now-canceled series when three transgender actresses gathered for lunch: Laverne Cox, Jen Richards, and Angelica Ross.
EDIT: It should be noted that The Switch, a Canadian sitcom created by Amy Fox, cast five transgender actors in starring roles and is currently available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, and Vimeo. The series premiered in 2016.