NEW YORK CITY -- The push for greater diversity in Hollywood is getting a big boost from a new talent agency that's launching this month in New York City. It's the brainchild of Jason Rodriguez, a Dominican-American who grew up in Washington Heights.
Fans of the FX TV series "Pose" will recognize him immediately.
The end of the series after three seasons was just the start of a larger plan for Rodriguez, who is building momentum by starting a talent agency specifically for LGBTQ+ talent who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
The new venture is called Arraygency, and there certainly was a broad array of talent at the company's launch in the Meatpacking District.
"It's history-making because we're the first of its kind," Rodriguez said. "We're saying that we are only here to cater for BIPOC folks, queer and trans in our community."
Sitting next to him was his manager Riccardo Sebastián, who co-founded the company and explained that, "We know that diversity is a really important topic right now so for all of these companies we are a central hub to access the diversity that they're looking for."
The idea for the talent agency grew out of Rodriguez's specific experiences. He said that sometimes he didn't feel safe and secure going to auditions, and added that, "I didn't receive any kind of guidance, any kind of support until later on in life."
That's not going to be true for talent signed to Arraygency like Morticia Godiva. She said she appreciates her new representatives because, "The need is to showcase, to highlight, to also give voice to folks that have not been given voice before."
The need becomes more obvious when you realize that mind all the promises of the future, there is still so much pain.
"I was denied the opportunity to showcase who I was," said the performer who takes her name from the model Iman. "Because of the misconception and bigotry and judgement that we face on an everyday basis."
Another client, Babou Sanneh, said, "I've been to auditions where I've had comments made about the kinky style of my hair and how it'd be difficult for me to be put into an ensemble because of how different I appear."
"Pose," made by FX which is owned by the same parent company as this station, opened doors for performers like Sage Dolan-Sandrino.
"What we're seeing at networks and streaming networks across the country is that people are really willing to tell important stories."
Another client, Azuza Crawford added that, "Now, is the best time to get the most representation out of everything so everybody can be on the same page."