Hollywood's Jeremy Pope: 'Is there room for another black man like me?'

"Can all of us be in the same room at the same time?,” Jeremy Pope asks over the phone from his home in Los Angeles. It is over a month into lockdown, but he isn’t questioning the rules of physical distancing. Rather, the 27-year-old is pondering the unspoken rules of Hollywood prejudice – who gets to share a platform with whom, and whether there’s only space for one minority figure at any given time.

Pope’s latest project – his first major TV role – is in Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix series Hollywood, a revisionist story set in 1940s Golden Age tinseltown, where he plays Archie, a gay, black screenwriter who is trying to break into the industry. It is a story he could relate to.

“What’s brilliant about our series is that you have a powerful man like Ryan Murphy who is capable of making any type of TV he wants, and then he makes a show like this – showing the world what it could have been,” Pope says. “And I am what it can be, he’s given me my debut TV opportunity. I often feel very similar to Archie and I wonder: is there room for another black man like me?”

Read the feature in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 05/05/20]