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Rodriguez was nominated for playing Blanca Rodriguez in the final season of Pose, which wrapped on FX in early June. She is just the third transgender actor to receive an Emmy nomination: Laverne Cox scored four supporting actress nominations for Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black between 2014 and 2020, and Rain Valdez earned a nod last year for lead actress in a short-form series for Razor Tongue.
Should Rodriguez win, she would be the first transgender person to take home an acting Emmy.
None of Pose‘s other transgender cast members were nominated on Tuesday, although Billy Porter scored a lead actor nomination — his third in as many seasons — for his role as Pray Tell. The series also earned a nod for best drama and nominations for directing (Steven Canals) and writing (Canals, Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Janet Mock and Our Lady J) on the series finale.
The nods for Rodriguez and Porter earned praise from GLAAD: “Mj Rodriguez’s Emmy nomination for outstanding lead actress in a drama series is a breakthrough for transgender women in Hollywood, and a long-overdue recognition for her groundbreaking performance over the past three seasons of Pose,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD. “Additionally, the show’s nomination for outstanding drama series, as well as Billy Porter’s third nomination for outstanding lead actor in a drama series, mark a historic show that undoubtedly raised the bar for trans representation on television and changed the way viewers around the world understand the trans community.”
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