Pose director Janet Mock made history today as the first black, transgender woman to sign an overall deal with a major studio. Under the three-year, multi-million dollar deal, Janet Mock will continue to grow as a creative powerhouse in the television industry, as she produces programs for Netflix. The deal gives Netflix the exclusive rights to her TV series, as well as a first-look at her features projects.
As a part of the deal, Mock will serve as an executive producer and director on Ryan Murphy’s upcoming series Hollywood. Although Mock has joined the Netflix family, she will continue to work on her FX series Pose, which spotlights the lives of transgender people of color in 1980s New York and explores underground ball culture in the midst of the AIDS epidemic.
Mock hopes that this watershed moment in Hollywood history “will be a huge signal boost, industrywide, to empower people and equip them to tell their own stories.” After this landmark deal, Mock joins a handful of powerful transgender creators who are visible in the industry. The Wachowski sisters — creators of The Matrix — are two of the most well-known trans creators in Hollywood. Mock is the first black, trans creator to land such a deal with a major studio.
Mock, 36, was born in Hawaii and transitioned as a teenager. She worked for years as an editor at People magazine and wrote a memoir in 2014 that chronicled her journey as a young trans person. Mock came out publicly as trans in a 2011 Marie Claire article.
In 2017, Ryan Murphy took Mock under his wing and added her to the Pose writers’ room. Mock was given the opportunity to direct the sixth episode, “Love is the Message.” According to Mock, “There was a major shift after I directed, from the network and the powers that be, who saw me as an artistic voice. I never saw myself as an artist, and when I was given the power to direct, I showed myself what I could do. That’s when everything changed.”
Mock says that her dream series would be anchored in her own experiences, following the story of a trans woman in college. “She decides to not be so open about being trans. What does it mean for a trans girl to just be in college? Just have her on a journey, and not so focused on her identity or origin story. What does it mean to be in this body and this world and to share space with people who don’t yet know you?”
In the next few years, Janet Mock will roll out new content for Netflix and continue to grow as a creative force in the industry.