Groundbreaking queer TV show Pose will come to an end with its third season, its creators announced on Friday (5 March).
Steven Canals revealed that the powerful TV show, which features the largest cast of trans actors ever seen on screen, will bow out on 6 June after a shortened third season of seven episodes.
Speaking on Good Morning America, Canals said: “It was a very difficult decision for us to make, but this has been an incredible journey and we have told the story that we wanted to tell the way that we wanted to tell it.”
He added: “Although we know you’ll be sad to see the show go, this season will be filled with all the love and laughter and tears that you have come to expect from the Evangelista family.
“I, along with my incredible collaborators, never intended on changing the television landscape. I simply wanted to tell an honest story about family, resilience and love.”
The history-making TV show has won acclaim since it debuted on FX in 2018 – and also helped Billy Porter pick up an Emmy award. Pose centres around New York’s underground ballroom culture in the ’80s and ’90s.
Final season of Pose will be set in 1994.
The final season of Pose, premiering May 2, will be set in 1994 and will follow Blanca (MJ Rodriguez) as she struggles to balance being a house mother with being a present partner to her new lover while also working in a new role as a nurse’s aide.
Meanwhile, Prey Tell (Billy Porter) must face into unexpected health issues as AIDS becomes the leading cause of death for Americans aged 25 to 44.
Ryan Murphy, the TV show’s co-creator, said his time on the series has been “one of the creative highlights” of his career.
“From the very beginning when Steven Canals and I sat down to hear his vision and ideas for the show, it has been a passion project. To go from the beginning of my career in the late ’90s when it was nearly impossible to get an LGBTQ character on TV to Pose – which will go down in history for having the largest LGBTQ cast of all time – is truly a full circle moment for me.”
Brad Falchuk, Pose‘s writer, director and co-creator, said: “I am more proud of this show than anything else I have created – or ever will create. I’m so grateful to have been a part of it.”
Canals also reflected on being told while studying for an MFA in screenwriting that he should write the TV show he wanted to see.
“At the time we weren’t seeing very many Black and Latinx characters – that happened to also be LGBTQ+ – populating screens. And so I wrote the first draft of a pilot the ‘younger me’ deserved. Pose was conceived as a love letter to the underground NY ballroom community, to my beloved New York, to my queer and trans family, to myself.”
Meanwhile, Janet Mock, a writer, director and executive producer on the series said: “My life has been forever changed because of Pose, a drama series that centred around trans and queer people, living with HIV/AIDS, and Black and Latinx people – without trepidation or apology.
“It’s left an indelible mark on our culture, modelling that a TV show can be successful and entertaining while also casting authentically, hiring LGBTQ talent in front of and behind the camera, and moving people living on the margins to centerstage.”
The trailblazing TV show also stars the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ characters ever seen in a scripted series, and has countless queer, Black and Latinx people working behind the scenes.
Angel Bismark Curiel, who plays Papi in Pose, said his “heart is aching” in an emotional video shared on Twitter.
“Naturally it’s very bittersweet. Excited for new beginnings, right, I think we all should be, but also my heart is aching. You spend three years with these storylines and these characters and these people and it’s naturally very hard to go from spending 18 hour days with these folks from one day to the next and not having them around as much.”
He also said the ending is “exciting” because fans will get to see where the characters stories end, and urged people to “enjoy it”.
Billy Porter became the first out gay man to win an Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a drama series with his performance as Prey Tell – but the show’s trans stars were completely shut out of awards ceremonies.
The Emmys were heavily criticised by Indya Moore and Angelica Ross in July 2020 when they failed to nominate any of the show’s trans cast once again – despite the fact that they had all received widespread acclaim for their performances.