Ryan Murphy’s FX period drama series “Pose” recently earned six Primetime Emmy Award nominations for its first season, which centered on the African-American and Latino ballroom culture of the late 1980s. The now-airing season 2 dives into the AIDS epidemic, and during a recent conversation at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles toasting the series’ Emmy recognition, Murphy teased that “Pose” will jump ahead to 1991 for its series finale, directed by Janet Mock and set to air August 20 on FX.
Murphy also added that he envisions “Pose,” which was renewed by FX for a third season, ending in 1996, the year that AIDS medications became more accessible to patients. As it stands, “Pose” currently pits its characters against the spreading disease, lacking the resources both infrastructural and medical to combat it.
Murphy also touted the achievements of series star Billy Porter, the openly gay actor currently up for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performance as the fiendishly clever yet compassionate ballroom emcee Pray Tell.
“You wrote the material for me. You raised the bar for me. You made the challenge, and I accepted it,” Porter told Murphy. “You actually said the words, ‘You’re black, you’re gay, you’re out, and you’re my lead. The world needs to see what that looks like, and you’re the one to do it.’” The series also has television’s largest cast of trans actors in series regular roles, and the largest LGBTQ cast for scripted shows.
Porter also talked about pushing the envelope with a quietly revolutionary sex scene on the FX series. “I spent 30 years of my career never being the object of anybody’s affection in anything. As gay people, they cut our dicks off, it’s nonsexual, and then when the sexual, loving stories started being told, it was always with the white boys,” Porter said. “It was such a healing moment for me. It’s the next level and the next layer in understanding, owning, and putting on the armor that is that ‘leading man’ thing.”
The Emmy nominations for “Pose” include Outstanding Drama Series, Casting, Costumes, Makeup, and Hairstyling.