Ryan Murphy must have realized that there are better ways to resist the current administration than by filming Sarah Paulson getting chased by a clown. It was announced Wednesday that Murphy will make history by casting the largest number of leading trans actors ever in his new show Pose, which is definitely not just a reference to “Vogue.”
Of course, Pose is not strictly Murphy’s show, but rather a shared adopted baby of Murphy, his American Horror Story creative partner Brad Falchuk, and a bunch of other people whose names you might recognize for a second before forgetting again. Unfortunately, Murphy has gobbled up so much pop culture bandwidth that we are unable to have an inspiring headline about trans rights without the very cis Murphy’s name appearing front and center.
That’s not to say the show isn’t diverse. Steven Canals, a former writer on the deceased Freeform show Dead of Summer, is one of many black creatives on staff, and several writers and consulting producers on the show are trans. However, Dead of Summer was also an exercise in “How many plot holes can we write this week before we hate ourselves,” so that isn’t exactly a stunning recommendation.
That being said, Pose’s talented, fabulous, diverse list of trans actresses will include MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar, and Angelica Ross. They were reportedly selected after a six month nationwide casting process, which — considering the current political climate — is very, very essential.
Murphy is also reportedly leading the “Half Initiative,” a mentorship program to encourage and inspire up-and-coming trans directors and creatives. While Murphy (read: Murphy’s team) isn’t the first to do this, it’s a bold move that reaffirms Murphy’s commitment to producing progressive, challenging, socially responsible television.
Set in the ‘80s, Pose tells the story of multiple segments of New York culture as they first take off: the Trumpian one-percenters, the downtown intelligentsia, and the ball world of Paris is Burning. Let’s just hope Murphy doesn’t indulge his tendency to overstuff storylines, lest we end up with a young Donald Trump teaming up with drag queens to inspirationally sing “Don’t Stop Believing” before being brutally murdered by Debbie Harry.