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Whoopi Goldberg Producing Show About Transgender Models for Oxygen

Oxygen has greenlit “Strut,” a series about transgender models breaking down barriers in the industry, Variety has learned. The show hails from exec producer Whoopi Goldberg.

Strut” will follow a set of driven and determined models who are pursuing their passion of becoming household names in the world of fashion, while challenging stereotypes of gender and beauty. Supporting them every step of the way is Slay Model Management, the world’s first exclusively transgender modeling agency.

“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,” Goldberg commented. “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!”

“‘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,” said Oxygen’s EVP of original programming and development, Rod Aissa.

Hailing from One Hoe Productions and 44 Blue Productions, Goldberg will exec produce along with Tom Leonardis, Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch and Bobby Sizemore.

Oxygen is also home to “The Prancing Elites Project,” a series that centers around an all-male African-American dance troupe with members who identify as gay or gender non-conforming. “Strut” will pair nicely with “Prancing Elites,” which has been a big success for the cabler, as both series follow creatives in the LGBTQ community. Following Caitlyn Jenner’s E! docuseries “I Am Cait,” shows about the transgender community have been gaining popularity in the unscripted space. Other series include “I Am Jazz” on TLC and “Becoming Us” on Freeform. Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” featured transgender model Amiyah Scott, who will also appear in Fox’s upcoming drama “Star.”

Scripted TV is also embracing transgender actors and characters with the likes of Amazon’s “Transparent,” Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” and upcoming CBS drama “Doubt,” starring Laverne Cox, which is the first network TV show to have trans series regular character played by a trans actor.

“Strut” is slated to premiere later this year.

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