Steven Canals made Emmy history when he became the first Latinx (and Afro-Latinx) producer nominated for Outstanding Drama Series last year with Pose. The breakthrough drama, which details the houses and ball culture of the 90s, also made history when star Billy Porter became the first openly gay Black actor to win Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Earlier this year it won the Peabody.
When it came time to put the second season together, Canals and his team of just four other writers (co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, with Janet Mock and Our Lady J) took us forward a few years and in doing so to took some huge swings that resulted in an elevated season of drama, intensity, sadness and levity, sometimes all in the same episode. The explosion of HIV/AIDS in the Black and brown queer communities, the crack and cocaine epidemic and the murder of Black trans women all became a part of the show’s fabric while still giving us great romances, hopes turning into dreams turning into realities and a legendary moment of Elektra (Dominique Jackson) reading a Karen the house down.
I had the great pleasure of talking with Steven about all of these things plus our love of awards shows, Madonna and “Vogue,” incorporating ball culture legends, vibrant Black gay sex and more in this 40+ minute kiki that includes a little bit of tea for season 3.
We get into some spoiler territory from 13:45-18:30 so if you haven’t seen season two, you might want to skip that part. Or, do what’s right and watch season two first! Now! It’s on Netflix!
Keep an eye out for the transcribed version of this video interview for the deaf and hearing impaired soon.