Angelica Ross blasts Ryan Murphy, declares she’s leaving Hollywood

Written by on September 23, 2023

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Angelica Ross has been spilling major tea all week long, and now the actress and activist has announced a career switch.

Best known for her breakout role as Candy Ferocity in Ryan Murphy’s groundbreaking drama “Pose,” Ross went on to star in the ninth and tenth seasons of Murphy’s hit FX anthology series, “American Horror Story.”

Last year, she made history starring as Roxy Hart in “Chicago” on Broadway. But despite her success on two Murphy productions, the actress has revealed that her career and her relationship with him hasn’t been as warm and fuzzy as fans might think.

Angelica Ross, Pose,
Angelica Ross attends the FX’s “Pose” Season 3 New York Premiere at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

In a series of social medial posts and IG lives during the past week, Ross made specific allegations about racist and transphobic incidents during her time on the “AHS” set and specifically accused the show’s star, Emma Roberts, of mean girl behavior including making homophobic comments. She also claimed Murphy, her former friend and collaborator who’s often applauded for being a champion of Black, trans women, ghosted her.

On Friday, Ross made the allegations about her troubles on “American Horror Story” and described her version of how Murphy – one of Hollywood’s most celebrated allies – let her down in an explosive interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

These are the four most shocking claims Ross made this week:  

Big on-screen success does not always equal big money

Even after becoming a major star with her critically-acclaimed performance in “Pose,” Ross was not raking in the big bucks by a long shot. While many would assume the success of the series and the industry-wide praise of her performance would command a hefty paycheck for her next gig, she said she was offered an insulting amount to come on board “American Horror Story: 1984.” 

“… When they came to me with a salary of $28,000 an episode, I was a little offended,” she told “The Hollywood Reporter.” “I was just like, ‘No, I need more money.’ I asked them for $50,000 an episode, and they told me they couldn’t do that.”

Ross told the publication that she eventually accepted what she described as “a significant bump,” but it was not $50,000 an episode.

AHS allowed racist clothing on set

Despite promises of a racial reckoning in Hollywood, folks are still allowed to wear their racism on their sleeves… almost literally. During the Reporter interview, Ross said she felt “silenced” when a show producer asked her to remove a tweet about racial insensitivity she endured on the Horror set. It happened after Ross refused to leave her trailer until a crew member with whom she had to have direct contact removed racially offensive clothing.

“There was a crewmember who was operating my vehicle that I had to drive on camera, so he’s right outside my windshield and every day he was wearing a racist T-shirt,” she said. “One day it was, ‘BUILD THAT WALL.’ The next day it was white praying hands in front of an American flag, and it said, ‘I DON’T KNEEL.’ …This guy had a collection.”

She continued: “…The director, comes into the trailer and he’s just like, ‘…It’s a freedom of speech issue and we can’t do anything about it.’”

According to Ross, a producer later told her that Murphy didn’t want her to “share things outside the family.” So, she said, “OK, fine, I’ll take down the tweet. But just so you know, I’m being told that this man wearing these T-shirts has freedom of speech, but I’m the one being told to take down a tweet.’”

Allyship can be an illusion

Ryan Murphy is considered a champion of LGBTQ+ representation, and his work on “Pose” absolutely catapulted the plight of transgender Black women into the mainstream like no other project ever had. Still, Ross suggests that even allies have blind spots and ulterior motives.

“And so to co-opt that energy only so that he can wield my essence whenever he wants to take me out of his actor toolbox, it’s just another form of tokenization,” she said. “Because he doesn’t really mean what he says that he means.”

She’s done with Hollywood. 

After a busy week of describing her experiences in Hollywood, Angelica Ross took to social media to announce that she is leaving Tinseltown to pursue a career in politics. In her Reporter interview, Ross detailed her plans to start a new chapter in Georgia. “I’m fully walking away from Hollywood. But I’m always going to be who I am,” she told the outlet. “You don’t have to be on TV to be a creative person, to live a creative life.”

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