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‘Pose’ Falls Short of Historic Emmy Nominations but Snags One for Billy Porter

The FX series about 1980s ball culture boasts the most transgender actors in a scripted series.

Billy Porter, "Pose"

Billy Porter, “Pose”


The category is: Representation.

The critically acclaimed “Pose” received six Emmy nominations Tuesday morning, with a nod for Outstanding Drama and Lead Actor Billy Porter. Even though the series premiered over a year ago, its first groundbreaking season was still eligible for awards contention, and its second season currently airing on FX has kept the flame alive.

Set in the ballroom culture scene of 1980s New York City and against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic, Ryan Murphy’s FX series has been lauded for not only putting the the stories of nonconforming, marginalized people on screen but also assembling the largest transgender cast on scripted television. On the show, House of Evangelista mother Blanca (MJ Rodriguez) and her adoptive clan earn glory and recognition by strutting and posing in the underground balls. She also guides them to pursue their ambitions, including careers in dance and modeling, as in the case of the lovelorn Angel, played by Indya Moore.

Porter plays Pray Tell, the stylish announcer at the balls. Upon hearing of his nomination, the actor released the following statement, “The Category Is: Speechless! I’m so grateful to have lived long enough to see this day. ‘Pose’ speaks a truth that has the power to transform hearts and minds. I’m honored and humbled to be counted in the number.”

The major category nods are a heartening vote for the show’s representation, although it’s disappointing that none of the transgender actors, especially the powerful Rodriguez and Moore, received nominations. In that regard, “Pose” fell short of making history, even though its overall casting received a nomination. As it stands, Laverne Cox is still the only transgender performer to ever be nominated for an acting Emmy for her role on “Orange Is the New Black.”

“Pose” was also rewarded for the fabulous ballroom looks, earning well-deserved nominations in Period Costumes, Hairstyling, and Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic).

Dominique Jackson, "Pose"

Dominique Jackson, “Pose”


The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will air live on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Fox. “Pose” Season 2 currently airs new episodes on Tuesday on FX.

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