Drag Race star accuses Pose creator of ‘ripping off’ her life story: ‘At least pay a girl’

Pose season three final season

RuPaul’s Drag Race star and trans model Carmen Carrera has accused Janet Mock, the producer of Ryan Murphy’s hit FX series Pose, of “ripping off” her life story.

Responding to a post on X/Twitter in which a social media user praised TV writer Mock as one of the most powerful trans women in the world, Carrera responded: “Sometimes with power comes oppression, like how Janet and her writing team completely ripped off my real-life storyline for Angel’s character on Pose.

“I was always curious why Pose had three seasons and the biggest trans cast but had no spots for me. They made it seem in the media that it was the Tracey Norman story. However, so many elements, twists and turns, didn’t match and the fans noticed it throughout. You want rip my story off, at least pay a girl.”

Pose followed a group of trans women living in New York’s queer ballroom scene at the height of the Aids crisis in the 80s. 

Carmen Carrera (left) and Janet Mock (right).
Carmen Carrera (left) has accused Pose writer Janet Mock (right) of ‘ripping off’ her life story. (Getty)

Non-binary Ponyboi star Indya Moore played Angel, who finally commits to her partner Lil Papi (Angel Bismark Curiel), getting married and becoming the stepmother to his child.

According to Carrera, that part of Angel’s story is suspiciously similar to her own – a story that was published by People in 2015, a time Mock worked at the magazine. 

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Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Carrera said that her management had approached by Pose’s casting team for a small role in the show. At that time, the media was interested in her marriage and her role as a step-parent.

“This was just after the ‘trans tipping point’ and so much of the media was covering my story as trailblazing since no one else had seen a trans person being married on TV and having stepchildren,” she explained.

Pose also promotes that in season two [Moore’s] character will be based on the Tracey Norman story,” she continued. “We never heard back about my participation on season two, but my manager at the time said they would eventually cast me when they could find a part.”

Indya Moore as Angel Evangelista in Pose.
Indya Moore as Angel in Pose. (YouTube/FX Networks)

However, the show’s team ghosted her after that, Carrera claimed.

Fashion model Tracey Norman, who became the first Black trans woman to gain prominence in the industry, was outed as trans by her hairdresser’s assistant during a photoshoot, and for some years struggled to get work.

Similarly, in Pose, Angel’s modelling career gains traction before she is outed as trans and dropped by agencies.

“Fast-forward to season three and [Moore’s] character’s story taking a twist in storyline to getting married and having a stepchild, much to the confusion of the fans since those elements were never part of Tracey Norman’s story,” Carrera added.

Carmen Carrera has claimed a storyline in Pose was her life story. (Getty)

“I’m all for telling the community’s stories and being accurate and true, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the real people who actually lived the story.”

Pose, which ran between 2018 and 2021, made history for having the largest cast of transgender actors of any TV series. Actresses including Angelica Ross, Dominique Jackson and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez forged their acting breakthroughs in show.

Rodriguez went on to become the first trans woman to win an Emmy for her performance.

Trans Drag Race stars Jiggly Caliente and Peppermint also appeared in the show.

Carrera was one of the first trans contestants to appear on Drag Race, coming out after her stint in season three in 2011. She later criticised the reality series for its uses of transphobic slurs, including the term “s**male”, which was removed from future seasons.

When approached for comment by Entertainment Weekly, Ryan Murphy’s publicist refused to issue a statement. PinkNews has approached Mock for comment.

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