Janet Mock—who produces, directs and writes episodes of the hit FX Networks series “Pose”—just signed a three-year multimillion-dollar deal with Netflix, Variety reported Wednesday (June 19). The collaboration makes Mock the first transgender woman of color to hold that level of creative power at a global film and television company.
“I understand the burden and the weight of being the first,” Mock says in a video interview with Variety, before ticking off her own list. “The first young person to write a memoir about transitioning [‘Redefining Realness’]. The first in my family to get a college degree and then a master’s degree … the first trans woman of color to direct and write an episode of television. And now, the first to have a bankable, sizable deal that will enable me to be empowered to tell my communities’ stories. To tell my stories.”
To that end, Mock embodies the words of First Lady Michelle Obama, who said at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, to always reach back and bring others along “as you walk through the door of opportunity.” Mock says she feels a responsibility to follow that ethos.
“I am the Trojan horse,” Mock says. “It’s a fight against the tokenization. It’s a fight against the diversity quotas. But it’s about pushing back against that and to say, ‘How can I get more?’ And when I get more, ‘How can I make sure that I’m fighting for more people like me to be given access to come in?’”
As part of the deal, Mock will executive produce and direct “Pose” creator Ryan Murphy’s new “Hollywood” series for Netflix. Variety reports that additional series being developed via Mock’s deal include a drama focused on a college-age trans woman and a series set in New Orleans after Emancipation.