Thanks to a landmark Netflix deal, writer-director Janet Mock is poised to bring the stories of underrepresented communities to our screens that have historically been ignored by Hollywood. Prepare to clear your Netflix queue…
She’s a trailblazing LGBTQ activist, a best-selling author, producer, and director, and an all-round boundary-breaker who made history as the first trans woman of colour to write and direct an episode of television last year.
Mock, who has won praise for her work on the groundbreaking FX series Pose, announced on Twitter that she had signed a three year multi-million dollar deal with Netflix, making her the first transgender woman to land an overall deal with a major content company.
The new deal gives Mock the opportunity to produce new series exclusively for the streaming giant, who will also get a first look at any feature film projects. In a video posted to Netflix’s Twitter account, Mock explained that the deal will give her the chance to boost the visibility of trans and gender non-binary identities on our screens, a community that suffers sorely from a lack of positive representation.
“This is the first kind of deal of its kind for a trans person, no less a trans woman of colour,” Mock said in the video. “You know, 84% of Americans say they don’t know and/or work with a trans person. And so there’s potential now with Netflix’s worldwide audience to introduce millions, hundreds of millions of viewers to trans people and showing people who may not understand us that we can tell our own stories.”
According to Variety, Mock will serve as a director and executive producer for Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix series, Hollywood, as well as continuing her work on Pose, an award-winning LGBTQ drama set in New York City’s competitive ballroom scene.
“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.”
There’s already an exciting slate in development, with projects including a college-set drama following a young trans woman, and a series about New Orleans after the abolishment of slavery, which will put the spotlight on communities that have historically been ignored by Hollywood.
And while Mock’s deal may be the first of its kind for the moment, something tells us that opportunities for trans creators are about to get a huge boost under her leadership. Here’s to a more vibrant, more diverse Netflix subscription.