Jameela Jamil's latest gig has sparked a fierce discussion about LGBTQ media representation.
On Tuesday, Deadline reported that HBO Max had cast Jamil as the emcee and judge of their new voguing competition, Legendary.
And though the platform also simultaneously announced that stylist Law Roach, Megan Thee Stallion, as well as ballroom veterans Dashaun Wesley, Leiomy Maldonado, and DJ MikeQ would be featured on the show, much of the online backlash has centered around the casting of an apparent cis-het woman in the lead role — especially given the fact that Jamil is a vocal proponent of furthering media representation herself.
"This seems sort of ironic in that @jameelajamil is apparently taking the place of an already underprivileged group in Hollywood," as one commenter said, echoing a sentiment expressed by comic artist Adam Ellis, who asked Jamil why she took a job "on a panel that should be populated with queer and trans people?"
Look I get that we're all out here just trying to get a paycheck, but @jameelajamil how are you gonna work tirelessly on behalf of underrepresented people and then turn around and accept a job on a panel that should be populated with queer and trans people? https://t.co/iiCriF5YBt
Meanwhile, others like actress Trace Lysette — who said that she had also interviewed for Jamil's part — pointed out that we should be looking toward the show's producers for answers, writing, "As the mother of a house for nearly a decade it's kind of kind blowing when ppl with no connection to our culture gets the gig."
"This is not shade towards Jameela, I love all that she stands for," Lysette continued. "If anything I question the decision makers."
Lol.. I interviewed for this gig. As the mother of a house for nearly a decade it’s kind of kind blowing when ppl with no connection to our culture gets the gig. This is not shade towards Jameela, I love all that she stands for. If anything I question the decision makers https://t.co/kJleDihn02
For her part, Jamil appeared to respond by retweeting an article from Out magazine and pointing toward the other judges, before writing, "I'm here as the ally/outsider to bring other outsiders in to celebrate this extraordinary world that deserves to be mainstream."