Janet Mock inks landmark overall deal with Netflix
Staff Reporter | On 20, Jun 2019
Janet Mock has inked a landmark overall deal with Netflix.
The director, producer and writer of FX series Pose has signed a multimillion-dollar agreement that makes her the first transgender woman of colour to be in such a powerful content creation position. Netflix will have the exclusive rights to any TV series developed by Mock and a first-look option on any feature films.
The agreement will also see Mock serve as an executive producer on Ryan Murphy’s upcoming series, Hollywood, and allow her to continue as a writer-director on Murphy’s Pose.
A milestone in Hollywood, it empowers Mock to create stories that not only highlight overlooked communities but employ them as well.
“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.”
Mock hopes it “will be a huge signal boost, industrywide, to empower people and equip them to tell their own stories”.
Projects currently in the pipeline include a drama following a young trans woman going to college and a series about New Orleans set after the abolishment of slavery, as well as a reboot of an unnamed 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,” said 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 is one very few trans creators in a prominent and influential position, alongside Jill Soloway, who identifies as non-binary and is based at Amazon Studios, and Lilly and Lana Wachowski, who created Sense8 for Netflix. Transparent, Pose, Tales of the City and the “L Word” reboot are notable shows that have writers rooms staffed with trans people.
Mock, who came out in an article for Marie Claire in 2011, is no stranger to the media world: she wrote a memoir in 2014, was an editor at People magazine, and, in 2017, was taken under Murphy’s wing to write and direct for Pose.
“There was a major shift after I directed, from the network and the powers that be, who saw me as an artistic voice,” Mock told Variety. “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.”