Jameela Jamil is set to appear alongside MC Dashaun Lanvin and fellow panelists Amazon Leiomy, Law Roach and Megan Thee Stallion. (Screen capture via YouTube)
A trailer for the glittery, sequinned and feather boa-filled show Legendary dropped Tuesday, and it is the dictionary definition of glamour.
It comes after the show suffered early criticism after a bungled announcement that The Good Place star Jameela Jamil will feature on the show.
Prompting such severe backlash laced with barbed comments and threats against the activist that she was forced to come out as queer amid claims she did not represent the community.
Weeks since, and HBO Max unveiled both a sparkling trailer and a May 27 release date for the first television series by a major network to be based on the ballroom community.
What is Legendary about?
Voguing, a form of dance that finds its roots in the New York ballroom scene that began around the 1960s, has long been a symbol of queerness and LGBT+ resistance, and the show will focus on the communities that continue to be pioneers in the scene.
In Legendary, contestants will “compete in unbelievable balls and showcase sickening fashion in order to achieve ‘legendary’ status”, according to the clip’s YouTube caption.
The cast includes MC Dashaun Wesley and DJ MikeQ as well as a glittering array of celebrity judges joining Jamil; celebrity stylist Law Roach, trans “Wonder Woman of Vogue” dancer Leiomy Maldonado and rapper Megan Thee Stallion.
What was the backlash against Jameela Jamil about?
HBO’s announcement invoked a backlash from many who believed Jamil wasn’t representative of the black LGBT+ community in which voguing originated.
The criticism was heightened by an inaccurate press release stating that she would also be the MC of the show.
Jamil later clarified that she would be a judge, not an MC, but the online outcry against her casting continued as the star was accused of “appropriating ballroom culture”.
She has set the record straight with a statement on Twitter explaining that she identifies as queer, but had struggled to come out before because of her Indian and Pakistani heritage.
“Twitter is brutal,” she wrote, “this is why I never officially came out as queer.”