Steve July 29, 2020

by Sam Manzella


This news does not get tens, tens, tens across the board.

Cisgender actor Billy Porter received some love from the Television Academy, but none of the transgender talent involved in FX’s Pose were nominated for an Emmy Award this year. The groundbreaking, critically acclaimed television series, which centers on New York City’s house and ballroom community of the 1980s, was made by and for Black trans people. Its stacked cast includes trans actors like Indya Moore, Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, and Angelica Ross.

As NewNowNext reported Tuesday, the show did score six Emmy nominations this year—including another nod to Porter, who won an Emmy for his role as Pray Tell in 2019. (It was not nominated for Best Drama Series despite getting a nod last cycle.) But Pose fans think it’s about time the show’s trans talent got recognized by the industry at large.

You’re telling me that a cis actor is the only one worth nominating or elevating on a show that centers the Black trans experience? Y’all playing in our faces yet again.

The Black trans women who work on #PoseFX deserve so much more recognition from the #Emmys2020 and beyond.

— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) July 28, 2020

The fact that zero trans women were nominated for POSE, a show centered around the trans experience???

— ‍♂️ (@jacob_bellevue) July 28, 2020

Snubbing the pose trans cast is egregious act of transphobic. Here’s why. 1/254677

— (@flawedcrystals) July 28, 2020

When the trans cast and creators of Pose are shut out of the #Emmys2020, it sends a message that no matter how talented — trans women protagonists aren’t deserving of recognition. This isn’t about a lack of talent; it’s about transphobic gatekeeping.

— Autostraddle (@autostraddle) July 28, 2020

Actress and entrepreneur Angelica Ross, whose portrayal of Candy resonated deeply with viewers and critics, addressed the snub in an Instagram Live captioned, “WELP.”

“I want you to know from the jump that these tears are not about an award or a nomination,” a tearful Ross told her 332,000 followers. “Ultimately, I need you to understand this, that I am so tired. Because those of you that know me know that I’m not just working in front of the screen or behind the the lens or wherever I’m working. [I’m working] around the clock to get our society to value trans lives and Black trans lives. I feel what I feel because I feel like there’s nothing we can do.”

“You think I’m crying about this award?” Ross added. “What, was it just this week alone we found out that two more Black trans women were killed? You know what I’m saying? This is about so much more. … What do y’all want me to say?”

Actor Indya Moore, who plays Angel, also chimed in on Twitter.

“I didn’t invent the academy or any of the award shows,” they tweeted. “If they think my work is unworthy Chile that’s just that. … Imagine if we depended on cis ppl to validate anything about us.”

@MjRodriguez7 is an artist and a genius.@angelicaross is an artist and a genius.@IndyaMoore is an artist and a genius.@tyraaross is an artist and a genius.@213Sahar is an artist and a genius. #Emmys

Black woman to black woman thank you for sharing your gift with us.

— Cori Foster (@CoriFoster) July 28, 2020

Production for Season 3 of Pose was in the works earlier this year, although it is now on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Main image: Angelica Ross in Pose.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.


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