With an Emmy acting nomination announced Tuesday, Mj Rodriguez becomes the first transgender actor to be nominated for a lead acting Emmy.
Rodriguez's portrayal of Blanca on the groundbreaking FX drama Pose
earned her a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the 73rd annual Emmy Awards.
Speaking with Variety
, Rodriguez called her nomination "a pivotal moment."
"I do believe this is a pivotal moment. There's never been a trans woman who has been nominated as a leading outstanding actress and I feel like that pushes the needle forward so much for now the door to be knocked down for so many people – whether they be male or trans female, gender nonconforming, LGBTQIA+, it does not matter," Rodriguez said. "A moment like this extends and opens and elongates the possibilities of what's going to happen and I believe the Academy is definitely making it possible and their eyes are more than open. Yes, I do believe they're going to continue, and I also feel like we're going to keep speaking and encouraging and informing and educating people around the world. I think that's the most important thing."
The FX drama created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals ended its three-season run in June. Other Murphy properties include Glee
, American Crime Story
and American Horror Story
, which explores New York City's vibrant ball scene of the 1980s and early 90s, made history for its large cast of transgender actors, including Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar, and Angelica Ross.
Actor Billy Porter, who plays Pray Tell in Pose
, received his third Emmy nomination for the role. Porter in 2019 became the first openly gay black man to be nominated for and win in a leading Emmy acting category.Pose
was also nominated for the second time in the Outstanding Drama Series category.LGBT groups in June
had called on Emmy Award voters to nominate Pose
's transgender and non-binary actors.