Jameela Jamil clarifies role on new voguing show Legendary following backlash

5 February 2020, 15:47

By Jazmin Duribe

Legendary will bring the world of voguing and ballroom to TV.

Jameela Jamil is being criticised for accepting a judging role on a new voguing competition show called Legendary. The 10-episode reality TV series will see contestants compete in dance and fashion challenges in voguing houses for the chance to win a cash prize.

On Tuesday (4 Feb), Deadline revealed that HBO Max had cast Jameela as the MC of Legendary. Celebrity stylist Law Roach, rapper Megan Thee Stallion, and ballroom veterans Dashaun Wesley, Leiomy Maldonado and DJ MikeQ will also be taking part in the show.

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Voguing is a competitive style of house dance that started on the ballroom scene in the 1980s. The choreography is based on Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs and poses struck by models in Vogue magazine. It started in Harlem, New York, with African-American and Latinx drag queens and gay men.

Jameela Jamil is a judge on 'Legendary'
Jameela Jamil is a judge on 'Legendary'. Picture: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Jameela and HBO received backlash online after the casting was announced because people believed that the MC role should have been given to someone with a more immediate connection to the ballroom scene.

People wanted to know why someone who is a part of the culture was not given the job. 

Trace Lysette, a transgender woman and house mother in the ballroom scene, also revealed that she had interviewed for the role. She tweeted: "Lol.. I interviewed for this gig. As the mother of a house for nearly a decade it’s kind of mind 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."

Jameela then replied: "Hey trace. I think you auditioned to be one of the house mothers. I’m just one of the judges. Not a house mother. We weren’t up for the same thing. @deadline are wrong. I’m NOT the MC. The brilliant @DashaunWesley is. I think you’re fucking amazing, in every way. And send you."

But Trace hit back: "I don’t have audition to be a house mother…I am one. I remember the convo well. It was a convo in regards to be a host/producer. At least that’s what my manager at the time worked out. I never heard back. I send you love too. But I will always speak my truth."

Jameela has since clarified what her role in Legendary will be on Twitter. She will not be the MC, she will be a judge.

"Hello! @DEADLINE says I am the MC of this show! I am NOT," she tweeted. "I am just one of the judges. The brilliant @DashaunWesley is. With help from the fabulous @TheOnlyMikeQ. I’m a long time fan of ballroom and just wanted to help this show get made to celebrate this beautiful community."

Pose star Indya Moore and Legendary cast member Leiomy also showed support for Jameela's casting on Twitter.

Leiomy tweeted: "As an ICON who started in BALLROOM who has made a career that has flourished based on BALLROOM. The scene has tried to tear me down for simply being GREAT! @jameelajamil. THANK YOU FOR STANDING WITH US! Can’t wait to make to make the world gag!"

What do you think of Jameela's casting? Tweet us @popbuzz and let us know!