It seems almost impossible for prolific showrunner Ryan Murphy to have another series in the works (when does this man sleep?) but his latest endeavour is already breaking new ground. According to Deadline, Murphy's new series has cast more transgender actors in series regular roles than any other show on television. It's a huge deal for a community too often underrepresented in media.
The new FX show — which will join Murphy's American Crime Story, Feud, and American Horror Story on the network — is titled POSE, and will take place in New York City in the '80s. According to a press release from FX, the show will explore "the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball culture world."
Trans actors MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar, and Angelica Ross were all cast on the series and will reportedly portray transgender characters.
Behind the scenes, Transparent writer Our Lady J (who, according to Deadline, got the job on the Amazon series by writing a short story about growing up trans in Pennsylvania) and trans activist and best-selling author Janet Mock are also included on the writing staff of the new series. Murphy will also hire trans directors mentored through the TV creator's Directing Mentorship Program.
Having multiple trans actors on a single show is huge, considering so few trans actors receive a platform on television. Amiyah Scott of Star, who portrays Cotton, became the first trans actor to be a series regular on a broadcast network show just last year. Jamie Clayton of Netflix's Sense8 earned that title for streaming platforms. Laverne Cox's success — which stemmed from her time playing trans character Sophia on Orange Is the New Black — has also opened many doors.
Still, the fact that we can count trans actors with national name recognition on one hand says a lot. There's a long way to go in terms of true representation. POSE shouldn't be Hollywood's end of inclusion, it is an important step.