Pose's Janet Mock decries Hollywood in scorching speech: 'You all have stomped on us'
Janet Mock, a writer, director, and executive producer on Pose, had some choice words for the industry in a speech that rocked the show's season 3 red carpet premiere event in New York City on Thursday.
Following remarks from co-creators Ryan Murphy and Steven Canals at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Mock took the mic and launched into a nearly 15-minute speech in which she demanded to know why she wasn't paid more for her work on the show, questioned the quality of the season 1 episodes written by men, and at one point declared "f--- Hollywood," according to reporters who were in the room.
Multiple sources confirmed the contents of Mock's remarks to EW.
"F--- Hollywood," she said, according to The Daily Beast and Page Six. "This makes you uncomfortable? It should. It should make you f---ing shake in your motherf---ing boots. This is speaking the truth. This is what Pose is."
Reps for Mock and FX did not return EW's requests for comment.
"This is what Pose taught me," Mock, a trans woman and an activist, began her speech, per The Daily Beast. "I stand up taller in the world because of this show. I know that I matter because of this show. I have a voice because of this show." Referring to her previous bright demeanor, she said, "I was happy because I had to be happy. Because if I wasn't happy the girls wouldn't know that happiness is possible... I'm hurting y'all. I see injustice and it hurts me inside."
When it came to the topic of Mock's compensation, she said, "I want to get paid more," as reported by Variety. "Why am I making $40,000 an episode, huh? Do you know who the f--- I am?"
She then turned her attention to the first two episodes of season 1, which were written by men, and suggested they didn't live up to the quality of the rest of the episodes. Mock proceeded to call on Murphy in the audience and repeatedly asked him, "Who brought the girls in?" according to Page Six. "The girls" being a reference to Mock and Our Lady J, a trans writer who also joined the show's writers room.
"I did. I wanted the girls to be there," Murphy was reported to have said.
Mock also praised some of the cast, including stars Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, and Angelica Ross, and elsewhere apologized to Our Lady J. "I tried to shrink you to make myself bigger," she said in addressing her fellow writer. "Why couldn't I just love you?"
Closing out her remarks, Mock poked fun at a standard line about inclusion in the industry: "It means so much to everyone to ensure that we enable Black and brown trans women to make it."
"That sounds good, right?" she said. "It makes you comfortable, me talking like that. Because then I don't scare you into facing the f---ing truth: You all have stomped on us."
Our Lady J briefly addressed the situation in a statement shared on Instagram Saturday.
"I'm grateful for all of the work that went into allowing us to have a Covid-safe live premiere for Pose this week. Of course, I can't ignore the events of the evening, but going into details wouldn't be appropriate at this time," she wrote. "I appreciate and accept Janet's amends, and I respect the bravery of her acknowledging it in public."
Ross, who returns for season 3 as Candy and was at the event, tweeted her support for Mock on Friday.
"My sister @janetmock left nothing unsaid," Ross wrote. "I love you girl thank you for advocating for yourself and for #girlslikeus."
Pose season 3 premieres on FX this Sunday.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated Mock questioned the quality of episodes written by men in season 3 of Pose. A source clarifies to EW she was referring to episodes in season 1.
This article was updated with Our Lady J's statement.