After a six-month nationwide search, producer Ryan Murphy is making waves with the largest cast of transgender actors with regular roles in a scripted series—ever.
MJ Rodriguez (Luke Cage), Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar (Mr. Robot), and Angelica Ross were casted in FX’s forthcoming drama Pose. The series chronicles 1980s New York City through the lens of “the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe” with an emphasis on ball culture and the downtown scene.
According to Deadline, all aforementioned actors will be playing transgender characters. Writers include Our Lady J and Janet Mock, and the series will also create space for rising transgender directors via mentorship through Murphy’s Directing Mentorship Program.
“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,” executive producer Steven Canals tells Deadline. “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.”
GLAAD’s 2016 “Where We are on TV” study found the highest percentage of LGBTQ series regulars on broadcast scripted primetime programming in the history of television. According to the report, 43 (4.8 percent) of the 895 series-regular characters expected to appear on broadcast scripted primetime programming in 2017 were identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. There was also a rise in the number of LGBTQ regular characters on scripted cable programs, peaking at 92 in 2016—eight more than in 2015.
But recurring characters decreased from 58 to 50, making Pose‘s cast that much more important to celebrate.
Pose‘s pilot episode goes into production in November in New York City.