Everything To Know About 'Pose', Ryan Murphy's Inclusive FX Series
The show features more trans actors than any American TV series ever.
Ryan Murphy is back with another visionary series that's bound to build a more inclusive future. We're talking, of course, about FX's Pose. The producer's final show with FX (his enormous partnership with Netflix kicks in soon) is a series about the underground ballroom scene of '80s New York City. The show features an historically large LGBTQ cast and crew, and premieres June 3, 2018 at 9 p.m. on FX. According to the official press release, it's "a dance musical that explores the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the ball culture world, the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe and the downtown social and literary scene."
If you aren't familiar with the term "ball culture," check out the documentary Paris Is Burning. If you can't make that happen before June 3, here's a taste: The New York ball scene is an LGBTQ subculture that celebrates dance, voguing, fashion, and drag. At these "balls," participants belong to groups called "houses," and "walk" down the runway for prizes. These "walks" can consist of dancing, strutting, or appearing in drag.
Pose will follow Blanca (MJ Rodriguez), who leaves her old "house" to form her own with a fresh group of dancers, performers, and artists. The show also stars Evan Peters (a recurring face in Murphy's juggernaut series, American Horror Story) as a yuppie who finds himself falling for a trans woman, played by newcomer Indya Moore. Kate Mara and James Van Der Beek round out the supporting cast alongside more than 50 LGBTQ+ characters that Murphy spent six months finding. Hiring authentic LGBTQ+ individuals was hugely important to the show's creators.
Thanks to Murphy's efforts, Pose features the largest number of trans series regulars ever in an American series.
"We spent six months [casting the show] and it was just the most amazing group of talent I've ever encountered," the creator told E! News. "And sometimes people would be so good, but they were wrong for the part that they were reading, that I would say, ‘Well, I'm going to write you a part,' and we did."
It's not enough to write a show about an LGBTQ subculture like the ball scene and hand out bit parts to trans characters. Rodriguez is a trans character portrayed by a trans actor. Unlike shows like Transparent, in which a cis male actor plays a trans woman, Pose is showing future show creators what inclusive casting looks like.
"This is a community who have just been starved for opportunities," Murphy said. "You've seen it, usually in movies or television shows, trans actors play the best friend or they have a line or two, many times they're murdered, but in this show they play the leads and they are the heroes and the heroines. It's an amazing thing to see."
So far, the show has employed more than 140 trans or LGBTQ actors and crew members.
As if all of this wasn't fabulous enough, 100 percent of the show's profits are going to LGBTQ charities.
"The thing that struck me in talking to so many of [the cast and crew] was how much they’ve struggled, how under attack they feel, how many of them find it difficult getting healthcare, and finding jobs," Murphy told Variety in May. "I just decided I need to do more than just making a show for this community. I want to reach out and help this community."