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‘Pose’ to end with upcoming third season on FX: ‘The ride was so worth it’

Mj Rodriguez wearing a hot pink hat and feather dress in "Pose"
Ryan Jamaal Swain as Damon, left, and Mj Rodriguez as Blanca in “Pose.”
(JoJo Whilden / FX)

The category is: bittersweet.

“Pose” showrunner Steven Canals announced Friday that the groundbreaking series about transgender women navigating the New York City ballroom scene will end with its upcoming third season, premiering May 2 on FX.

“Pose was conceived as a love letter to the underground NY ballroom community, to my beloved New York, to my queer & trans family, to myself,” Canals wrote in a statement. “I, along with my incredible collaborators, never intended on changing the TV landscape. I simply wanted to tell an honest story about family, resilience and love. How fortunate I am to have done that for three seasons.”

On Instagram, “Pose” star Mj Rodriguez reflected on her experience playing Blanca, the caring and resilient matriarch of the show’s main ensemble on a mission to launch her own beauty salon while battling HIV/AIDS.

“What a joy [it] has been to be on a show like this,” Rodriguez wrote. “The ride was so worth it! The hard work all of us have put in, has [paid] off, and the relationships [and] connections that we have created are forever lasting! ...

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“We did it y’all, we showed how #girlslikeus strive, triumph and persevere. We made herstory and more than anything ... we scratched the surface, simply to make change!”

Rodriguez’s costar Indya Moore also opened up on Instagram about her turbulent “Pose” journey. In the FX drama, Moore portrays Angel, a former sex worker and key player in the House of Evangelista who begins to pursue a modeling career in the series’ sophomore season.

"[T]his project has been life changing to so many people,” Moore wrote. “I learned a-lot, and while some lessons will take more time to apply, this show has helped me to be okay with how deep, complex and challenging being human can be. I learned from each and every character and from each and every person playing those characters. ...

“There were times on this show where I was absolutely terrified of giving it my all b/c I didn’t want to get lost. but I eventually surrendered b/c I really just wanted to do a good job. Did it take from me? Yes. And it still was the best decision I probably ever made, and If I could go back & make it earlier I would have.”

Cocreated by Canals, Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy, “Pose” debuted in 2018 to critical acclaim and made significant strides for LGBTQ+ representation on the small screen. In 2019, Billy Porter made history as the first openly gay Black man to win an Emmy for lead actor in a drama series for his portrayal of sharp-tongued ballroom emcee Pray Tell.

The show was also nominated for drama series in 2019, and Porter won again for lead actor in a drama in 2020. The Television Academy has drawn criticism, however, for snubbing the series’ trans cast members, including Rodriguez, Moore, Angelica Ross and Dominique Jackson.

“No longer will [trans women] be seen as disposable,” Rodriguez continued in her farewell post, “instead we will be seen As the [women] who have paved the way for change, for growth, and for being simply human just like everyone else.

“I love you all,” she added. “It [has] been a pleasure, and it doesn’t stop here! The sky is the limit!”

In a statement, Murphy — known for creating popular shows such as “Glee” and “American Horror Story” — said, “we got to tell the exact story we wanted, as we wanted to tell it, and I’m incredibly honored and grateful.”


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