How Ryan Murphy’s ‘Showrunning As Advocacy’ Led to Janet Mock’s Historic Netflix Deal

IndieWire | 6/19/2019 | Staff
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When “Pose” premiered on FX last June, much fanfare was made of the first show starring five transgender women of color, three as leads. Viewers who tuned in found a world as beautiful and moving as Christopher Street, the ballroom, and the runway. From the fiercely protective house mother Blanca (MJ Rodriguez), her spirited child Angel (Indya Moore), and her dripping-with-elegance rival Elektra (Dominique Jackson), the women at the center of “Pose” were able to live and breathe on their own terms, free from any preconceived notions or box-checking of what a trans-femme character should look like. Much of that had to do with the writers, directors, producers, and general talent assembled by “Pose” executive producer — and reigning king of queer Hollywood — Ryan Murphy.

“From the very first conversation I had with Ryan…the first difficult conversation we had was about — ‘Why you? Why are you choosing to do the show?,'” Janet Mock said in an interview with IndieWire last month from the “Pose” set. “I asked him that, and he was very sincere, and he said, ‘The reason I’m doing this show is this internal thing that I’ve been saying to myself – using showrunning as advocacy.'”

History - Senses - Cast - Woman - Color

“We made history in many senses, not just the cast. I’m the first trans woman of color not only to be in a writers’ room of a Hollywood series or movie, but to also direct,” she added. “So what he said at the first meeting came true, at least for me, and I know for a lot of people on this series.”

Murphy is characteristically demure in his own estimation. To hear him tell it, he’s always championed and centered marginalized people in his work; and it’s only now that he somehow — miraculously — earned enough success that he’s able effect real...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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