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RuPaul's Drag Race Star and Model Carmen Carrera Alleges Janet Mock 'Ripped Off' Her Life Story For Pose


Carmen Carrera is calling out the writers of Pose.


via: EW


RuPaul's Drag Race season 3 star, trans trailblazer, and model Carmen Carrera alleges Janet Mock and other Pose writers "ripped off" her life story as inspiration for the show's Angel Evangelista character, a trans sex worker turned model portrayed by Indya Moore on the beloved FX drama.


Carmen alleged that Mock used her as a basis for the character in a social media post on Tuesday, in response to a fan tagging her in a post honoring powerful trans women — namely Mock, who served as an executive producer, writer, and director on Pose alongside co-creator Ryan Murphy.


"Sometimes with power comes oppression.. like how Janet & her writing team completely ripped off my real life storyline for Angel’s character on Pose. I was always curious why Pose had 3 seasons & the biggest trans cast but had no spots for me," Carmen wrote on the social media site, later adding: "They made it seem in the media that it was the Tracy Norman story, however so many elements, twists & turns, didn’t match and the fans noticed it throughout. I mean listen, you want rip my story off at least pay a girl."




When reached for comment, Carmen tells Entertainment Weekly that Pose's casting team approached Producer Entertainment Group, Carmen’s management at the time, as they were looking for trans talent to hire for the show.


“Included in my media deck is parts of my story, including my wedding photos that were featured in PEOPLE magazine from December 2015. 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 in the position to being married on TV and having step children,” Carmen explains, referencing a story that PEOPLE — where Mock worked until 2012 — ran about Carmen's marriage. “Season 2 gets cast, Jiggly [Caliente] and [Peppermint] get on the show and they begin promoting the show as the biggest trans cast on TV. Pose also promotes that in season 2 [Indya’s] character will be based on the Tracey Norman story. We never heard back about my participation on season 2, but my manager at the time said they would eventually cast me when they could find a part for me since they were casting so many people.”


Carmen says that she feels that the casting process “wasn’t based on acting skills,” but that they still didn’t get back to her — in fact, she says the series’ representatives “went completely ghost” — regarding a potential role.


“Fast-forward to season 3 coming out and [Indya’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,” Carmen says. “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.”


EW has learned through a source close to the situation that Carmen auditioned for a small supporting role as a model on the show. The source says that there was formal word communicated that Carmen didn’t book the role.


When reached by EW, Murphy's publicist said the TV mogul has no comment. EW has additionally reached out to representatives for Producer Entertainment Group, Mock, FX, and Moore for comment.


In her social media message, Carmen invoked the legacy of Tracey Norman, a prominent trans model who rose to stardom in the 1970s and 1980s, before being outed against her will. Carmen's pop culture trajectory also saw her come out as trans after she finished season 3 of Drag Race in fifth place in 2011. In addition to her career as a successful model, Carmen went on to appear on the show's spinoff series RuPaul's Drag U, and famously spoke out against the reality series Cake Boss for allegedly using her as part of an on-air joke, reportedly unbeknownst to her.


Carmen's tweets about Pose also referenced a cast of trans stars who made history among the cast, including Moore, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar, Angelica Ross, and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez — the latter of whom became the first trans performer to be nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the Emmys.


In smaller roles, Pose welcomed other trans community staples, including Carmen's aforementioned fellow Drag Race sisters Jiggly Caliente and Peppermint, the late Cecilia Gentili, and ballroom icon and Legendary judge Leiomy Maldonado.


Other successes for Pose throughout the years included a victory at the Emmys for Billy Porter's performance, as well as awards for makeup and hairstyling.


Pose debuted on FX in 2018, and ran for three seasons until ending 2021. The series followed a group of queer people living in 1980s and 1990s New York City, where they formed a strong chosen family unit while competing in ballroom competitions.


Ahead of the show's season 3 premiere in New York City, Mock made headlines for making a scathing speech about Hollywood.


"F--- Hollywood," she said at the time, per The Daily Beast and Page Six. "This makes you uncomfortable? It should. It should make you f---ing shake in your motherf---ing boots. This is speaking the truth. This is what Pose is."

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