janet mock signs a multimillion-dollar deal with netflix

The announcement marks a big step forward for trans visibility in Hollywood.

by Mahoro Seward
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20 June 2019, 11:30pm

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In a landmark moment for trans visibility in entertainment, Pose director, producer and writer Janet Mock has announced the signing of a multimillion-dollar overall deal with Netflix! This makes her the first out trans woman, no less a black trans woman, to have such far-reaching creative responsibilities at a major content producer.

For those less acquainted with film studio jargon, here’s a quick breakdown: an overall deal is basically a studio or network’s way of professing their unrepentant love for a director, producer or writer’s work, locking in first dibs on whatever they produce for TV for a given period of time at a very lucrative rate. As Mock’s deal is for three years, please accept this as a notice of our official resignation from public/social life as we retreat to our binge-watching den until summer 2022.

Details on exactly what we’ll be glued to until then are currently scant, but we do know that Mock will serve as an executive producer and director of Ryan Murphy’s upcoming Netflix series, Hollywood, and Variety has since offered some extra details on the “hush-hush projects” Mock teased on Twitter. Expect a “college-set drama following a young trans woman, a series about New Orleans after the abolishment of slavery and a reboot of a classic sitcom.” Rest assured, though: the deal struck ensures that Mock will be able to continue as a writer-director on Pose, the gag-worthy FX drama that boasts the largest cast of trans actors in TV history.

What this means for sleep schedules aside, the importance of Mock’s appointment to Hollywood’s upper echelons lies in the power she will have to highlight the stories of marginalised folks, typically ignored in mainstream media. No less important, of course, is the visibility it casts on trans women of colour doing well behind the camera, not just in front of it. After all, while leaps and bounds have been made where the representation of trans and non-binary characters of colour on screens is concerned, much remains to be done to ensure that similar representation is witnessed throughout the entertainment industry, particularly at its highest levels.

“As someone who grew up in front of the TV screen, whether that was watching talk shows or family sitcoms or VHS films, I never thought that I would be embraced,” Mock told Variety. “And more than embraced. Given not just a seat at the table but a table of my own making.” Janet, trust us when we say we’ll be hungry for whatever you’re serving!

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.