With the recent success of the FX drama Pose and transgender actress Angelica Ross nabbing the role of Nurse Rita on American Horror Story: 1984, now is a great time to continue creating narratives centering transgender actors and actresses. A show doing exactly this is Hotline, a new digital series brought to you by creator and executive producer Jasmine White, director Dallas Alexis and producers Meah Denee Barrington and Melissa Quinones.
Hotline centers around Hazel Scott, a straitlaced attorney whose main goal is winning court cases. However, her life as a perfectionist is disrupted when her sister, Chelsea shows up. Soon after their tense encounter, Chelsea’s dead body is found and quickly ruled a suicide. To ease her grief, Hazel begins working at a suicide hotline. However, as the circumstances surrounding Chelsea’s death begin to unravel, viewers are left to wonder whether Hazel is the hero of Hotline, or really its villain.
A NY-based screenwriter who works A+E Networks in Development & Programming for the Lifetime brand, White makes the case for what sounds like a compelling LGBTQ mystery drama with themes of race, class, gender and sexuality seamlessly woven into the tapestry of true crime, as seen through the lens of transgender actors.
With a number of supporting actors who happen to be transgender, the compelling thing of Hotline is that their gender identity is never the focal point. With the alarming murder of trans women of color, Hotline intends to make audiences see the humanity of transgender men and women, and showcases healthy relationships between Black trans women and binary characters.
Production on Hotline is slated to continue through December with an anticipated release date of 2020.
Watch the first trailer for Hotline below and donate to their Seed and Spark campaign here.
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