Laverne Cox has been tapped as the new face of the red carpet for E!

The NBCUniversal-owned cabler has tapped the “Orange Is the New Black” star to serve as host of the “Live From E!” franchise for the cabler that is known for its extensive coverage of the preamble to awards shows and festivals. Cox will begin her on-air role early next year with the 2022 award season. She will also host a series of celebrity interview specials for the cabler.

News of Cox’s appointment comes as Hollywood’s tradition of pomp and circumstance on red carpets is slowly coming back after more than a year of lockdown and social distancing mandates. It also comes o the same day that NBC announced plans to scrap one big red carpet event for next year — the 2022 Golden Globe Awards amid the controversy surround the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which administers the awards.

“Laverne Cox is a risktaker, groundbreaking pioneer and a fashion tour de force,” said Jen Neal, executive VP of entertainment live events, specials and E! News for NBCUniversal Television & Streaming. “As we continue to evolve the way we cover Hollywood’s biggest nights, Laverne’s passion for, and extensive knowledge of, the fashion community resonates with our audience and we look forward to seeing her shine on the other side of the velvet rope.”

Cox is moving into a post held for E! most recently by Giuliana Rancic, and previously by Ryan Seacrest and famously by the late Joan Rivers and her daughter, Melissa Rivers. Cox’s selection is a clear sign of E! looking to become more inclusive with its coverage as the entertainment industry itself goes through a reckoning on racial and social equality concerns.

Cox said she was “humbled” to have been chosen for the post.

“For many years I would wake up early on awards show days, get my snacks in place and watch E!’s coverage all day long. I dreamed of walking red carpets,” Cox said. “Now, not only have I had several fun and amazing personal red carpet moments, I also get to be a red carpet guide for E!’s discerning audience and chat with my colleagues and folks I deeply admire for these very special events in their lives. I can’t wait to get started while hopefully serving up fashion fantasies for the ages honey.” 

Cox at present hosts a podcast for Shondaland, “The Laverne Cox Show,” and just wrapped a role in Shondaland’s upcoming Netflix series “Inventing Anna.”