Angelica Ross in 'American Horror Story: 1984'

Angelica Ross Says Emma Roberts Called To Apologize for Transphobic Comments on ‘AHS’ Set

It’s always a stomach-dropping moment when you hear that another seemingly “unproblematic” celebrity has made heinous remarks. That’s probably how some fans of American Horror Story felt when they learned that Emma Roberts, who has become a staple in the anthology series, made transphobic comments to her co-star on set.

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Angelica Ross, best known for her roles in Pose, American Horror Story: 1984, and AHS: Double Feature has been spilling on some of her troubling experiences working on the Ryan Murphy series. Ross recently took to Instagram Live, where she specifically called out co-star Emma Roberts for transphobic behavior:

“I’m standing in front of Emma, talking to her like this, and she’s in front of me, her back against the mirror. She goes, ‘John, Angelica’s being mean,’” Ross said, referring to AHS director John J. Gray. According to Ross, Gray responded with, “Okay, ladies, you know, that’s enough. Let’s get back to work.” 

Ross continued: “[Roberts] then looks at me, and she goes, ‘Don’t you mean lady?’ And she turns around like this and covers her mouth. I’m staring at her, looking her dead ass in the [camera], and I’m like, trying to process the f— she just said.”

Apparently this wasn’t the only time Roberts came across as transphobic towards Ross. During some downtime with their co-star Cody Fern, Roberts made another dig implying that Ross was a man, not a woman.

Ross explained the interaction in a tweet, writing,”We’re all sitting around & I’m copying Cody’s accent. Didn’t know he had one. Emma then copies my voice & laugh and drops it several octaves. I was SHOOK. She read me for blood with my own words. of course I was self conscious about my voice on set after that.”

After the first incident, Ross tried not to interact with Roberts on set. “When I saw that happening, I was just like, ‘I’m done. I’m done.’ I didn’t speak to that b—- the entire time after that,” said Ross. “She said to me she could feel the energy coming off of me.” 

Ross continued, “She was like, ‘Are you okay? You haven’t been talking.’ I’m like, ‘Mmhmm, ‘Cause b—-, don’t play me. You’ve been playing mind games with everybody on the set and everybody’s been waiting for the moment that you would get me.'”

Understandably, Ross didn’t come forward about these incidents as she felt like Roberts would retaliate because she obviously had more pull with AHS creator Ryan Murphy. “My blood is boiling because I’m like, if I say something, it’s gonna be me that’s the problem,” Ross explained during the stream, “I know this because there was someone who spoke up about what she was doing, and they got repercussions from it.”

Murphy and Ross worked together on AHS and Pose, the show that launched Ross into the mainstream. However, Roberts and Murphy have a longer history together as she’s appeared in six of the 12 seasons of American Horror Story. Plus, Roberts has been acting in the mainstream longer than Ross, so it’s understandable that she would feel so scared to speak up until now.

However, this story does have something of a resolution, as Ross, just 24 hours after going public with the accusations, revealed that Roberts called her personally to apologize for her disgusting actions.

“Thank you @RobertsEmma for calling and apologizing, recognizing your behavior was not that of an ally,” Ross tweeted. “I will leave the line open to follow up on your desire to do better and support social justice causes with your platform.”

It’s not a crime to not be the perfect ally; everyone messes up from time to time. We’re all human, so we’re all going to make mistakes. But if you hurt someone, insult their personhood, or discriminate against them, then it’s up to you to own up to what you did and sincerely apologize. 

Being an ally means recognizing your own shortcomings and not lashing out when you make the wrong move. Let’s hope other celebrities can follow suit and be better going forward.

(featured image: FX)


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Kayla Harrington
Kayla Harrington (she/her) is a staff writer who has been working in digital media since 2017, starting at Mashable before moving to BuzzFeed and now here at The Mary Sue. She specializes in Marvel (Wanda Maximoff did nothing wrong!), pop culture, and politics. When she's not writing or lurking on TikTok, you can find Kayla reading the many unread books on her shelves or cuddling with one of her four pets. She's also a world class chef (according to her wife) and loves to try any recipe she can find.