After accomplishing a series of firsts for Black trans women in her career, actress Angelica Ross is not slowing down her efforts to change the industry. In recent months, the Pose star has repeatedly called out Hollywood—including her former colleagues—for snubbing the Black queer community. Now Ross is discussing why she’s out for “bad actors” and reflecting on the experiences that have made Pose difficult to rewatch.
“I’m proud of my work. I’m even more proud of it when I think about what I went through to get the job done,” Ross told Buzzfeed in a new interview. And what she went through was a studio system designed around cis white actors.
“I’ve had it with Hollywood and the protection of bad actors,” Ross continued. “And when I say bad actors, I’m not talking just about the performance. I’m saying folks who are behaving badly and everyone knows they’re behaving badly.”
We’re not crying, you’re crying.
Culture, unfilteredTwice a week, our newsletter will bring you the pulse of queer culture, from the tastemakers to the groundbreakers.
One of the “bad actors” Ross confronted was her American Horror Story: 1984 costar, Emma Roberts. While on the set of AHS: 1984, Roberts allegedly made a transphobic comment to Ross’s face. After speaking out about the incident publicly, Ross took to X/Twitter to thank Roberts for calling her to apologize.
Revealing more about how that apology went, Ross recalled, “I was just like, ‘Girl don’t do it. You know what was going on. If you don’t want to talk about the overarching issue of how you’re behaving, then apologizing ain’t gonna do anything for me. I don’t know what to tell you. You’re not sorry, you’re just sorry that [backlash] has come or whatever.’ And that’s not why I even mentioned it, that wasn’t even what the intention was. It was just me speaking my truth.”
As many trying experiences as there were behind-the-scenes, the on-camera scenes left their mark on Ross as well. (Spoilers for Pose below)
“I have not watched Pose in years. I can’t bring myself to watch it. It’s very, very hard for me,” she revealed. “I went through a grieving process with that. When you are acting and have to go through a death, both lying on a motel room floor as well as lying in a casket, it makes you think about the people who are going to show up at your funeral who never showed up for you in real life. People who talked ill about you in real life, but might be at your funeral speaking [fondly of you].”
To this day, she maintains respect for AHS and Pose creator Ryan Murphy, who allegedly ghosted her after she pitched an idea for a Black women-led AHS season. But respect and accountability are not the same thing. “I am grateful for Ryan Murphy and what he has done,” she said. “But you can’t just call us the LGBTQ community. We don’t all belong together. The thing that ties us to one another is accountability. Accountability is the admission price for community.”
Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...
We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock our articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?
Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated
Read More in Culture
The Latest on INTO
Subscribe to get a twice-weekly dose of queer news, updates, and insights from the INTO team.
in Your Inbox