Yet another Black content creator has cut a multi-million deal with a major streamer. Janet Mock, whose father is African American and mother is Hawaiian, has signed a sweeping deal at Netflix, making her the first out transgender woman empowered to call the creative shots at a major content company, reports Variety.
She is the director, producer and writer of the series “Pose.” The three-year multimillion-dollar pact gives the streaming giant exclusive rights to her TV series and a first-look option on feature film projects. As part of the agreement, Mock will serve as an executive producer and director on Ryan Murphy’s forthcoming Netflix series “Hollywood.”
Despite being part of the Netflix family, Mock will be allowed to continue as a writer-director on Murphy’s FX series “Pose,” an LGBTQ drama set in New York City’s competitive ballroom scene. The Netflix deal will enable Mock to create programs that employ and highlight communities that have historically been ignored by Hollywood — including the intersectional space Mock herself occupies, as a woman of color and a highly visible trans person.
“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 says. “And more than embraced. Given not just a seat at the table but a table of my own making.” Mock hopes the deal “will be a huge signal boost, industry wide, to empower people and equip them to tell their own stories.”
She is interviewing creative executives for her yet-to-be-named production banner. Projects in development include a college-set drama following a young trans woman, a series about New Orleans after the abolishment of slavery and a reboot of a classic sitcom. “As a best-selling author, producer and director, Janet Mock has demonstrated she knows how to bring her vision to thrilling, vivid life,” says Cindy Holland, Netflix VP of original content.
“She’s a groundbreaker and creative force who we think will fit right in here at Netflix.” Mock, 36, was born in Hawaii and transitioned as a teen. She wrote a memoir in 2014 (which she plans to adapt) that was hailed as the first mainstream account of a young trans person’s journey. She worked for years as an editor at People magazine, and came out as trans in a 2011 article for Marie Claire.