Pose co-creator Steven Canals was watching the livestream of the Emmy nominations Tuesday morning at home and when they were announcing the nominations for Outstanding Drama Series, he was a little concerned.
“It didn’t don on me that they were announcing the nominees in alphabetical order,” he told Deadline. “We were like five in before they said us and I was like, ‘Oh God, it might not happen’ and then it did and I shrieked — it was really exciting.”
The groundbreaking series which he created with Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, follows the ’80s ball culture scene in New York City also nabbed a nomination for Billy Porter for Outstanding Lead Actor, Drama. With these two nominations, the LGBTQ-centric show continues to blaze trails — something that Canals didn’t think could happen at first.
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“At base level, what my dream was for this project was just to create a little more civility and empathy in the world,” he said. “It was conceived as a way for LGBTQ people of color occupy space unapologetically on television. To have Pose become a cultural touchstone for people to become a safe space now for the community and to be received this way by the television academy and my peers — it’s remarkable. It’s beyond words.”
Canals said he has hope for the success on the show and these historic nominations. He sees this as a way to pave the way for more trans women and queer people of color to go out into the industry and work.
“I hope that more LGBTQ people of color — regardless of their gender identity — will have the opportunity to sell projects, he adds. “The reality of it is that our show centers the narrative of five trans women of color and several Black and Latinx queer men — but the truth of the matter is that there are so many more stories to be told. Pose is only one show. I hope that this is a reminder to the industry that we have stories to tell and that our stories matter, have value, have an audience and — since this is an industry that loves accolades — that these stories can merit the highest honor in TV.”
The nomination also marks more first for the FX series in the dramatic TV space. “In terms of trans and non-binary people, the only time we see nominees was in the comedy space,” Canals points out. Our Lady J made history as the first trans producer to be nominated and Janet Mock made history as the first trans woman of color to be nominated as a producer. And to add to that, Canals made history as the first Latinx producer to be nominated in a drama series.
“The show continues to push boundaries and make history,” said Canals. He said that the nomination is a stark reminder for him and other storytellers to trust their gut. When he first started pitching the show, he was bombarded with nos until he met Murphy. “I always felt that this show had value. I’m really proud of the work we accomplished as a team.”
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