Recently, Whoopi Goldberg has been getting involved in some very intriguing side projects; not long ago, she announced she was developing a line of weed-based products to help with menstrual cramps, and now, Variety reports that her next endeavor — apart from her tenure on The View — is producing Strut, a reality TV series about trans models for Oxygen.
The series will follow models working with Slay Model Management, the first company devoted exclusively to representing trans models. Per the company’s website, their commitment is “never about quantifying the model’s gender, it is about their passion and commitment to being the best possible models they can be.”
Of course, the question when any reality TV series is announced is how much it’ll feel like it’s exploiting its subjects and how much it’ll feel like it’s making strides by giving them mainstream visibility. Goldberg’s statement about the series seems quite genuine, and through Goldberg, it seems like the representation of these people’s lives will be in good hands. (Though some may find the last sentence of the below statement a bit too pandering in its attempt to sway the ignorant — maybe it’s just the exclamation point or the fact that it addresses a cis audience as the general that does it). She said:
This show is important right now because for all of the positive advances the community has made and continues to make, transgender is still a hot-button word that gets people hysterical. People tend to focus on the stereotype instead of the person, and this series will give viewers a unique opportunity to spend time with real people who are struggling with the same challenges we all face as we make our way through the world. You may even be surprised to discover that you have been seeing and interacting with transgender men and women in ways you didn’t even realize!
Oxygen’s EVP of Original Programming and Development, Rod Aissa, said:
Strut follows a group of inspiring and resilient trailblazers who are working to change the modeling industry, and the world around them, by simply being true to themselves. These individuals will empower viewers as they live their lives fully and unapologetically, despite facing many obstacles throughout their journey.