Angelica Ross says she’s leaving Hollywood—but before that, she’s spilling the tea.
This week, Ross made waves on social media after claiming that Ryan Murphy pitched a Black-woman-led season of American Horror Story to her, then ghosted her after she suggested ways to get the project moving. She has also accused Emma Roberts of transphobia on the set of American Horror Story: 1984. Ross later said in a series of tweets that Roberts called her to apologize.
In an interview, Ross says that she had “no problems whatsoever” with Murphy during her time working with him. However, she did recall an incident where the two exchanged a heated phone call after Ross took issue with a crew member on AHS wearing inappropriate and racist T-shirts to set. Ross says that after she flagged the issue to Ryan Murphy Productions, cryptically tweeted about it, and refused to leave her trailer until it was handled, Murphy called her on the phone and began “cussing me out.” Eventually, Ross says, Murphy apologized. “Angelica, I want to be your number one champion,” she recalls him saying. “I see the work that you’re doing out there and I want to be a support and I want to know and learn.”
As for her issues with Roberts, Ross says of the incident, “I was calling out the fact that she looked rested. She was supposed to have been aged 20 years or whatever, and I was heavily aged…but she wanted to look better,” Ross recalls. “So she walks into the room and I’m like, ‘Oh, you look rested.’ And she goes, ‘John, Angelica’s being mean.’ And he goes, ‘Okay, ladies, we’re going to get back to work.’ And she’s like, ‘Don’t you mean lady?’ Dead ass at me, and then turns around.… She was trying to spar with me and couldn’t cover her mouth fast enough…she kind of almost tried to stop herself from saying it.”
Ross says that she sought support from her castmates, to no avail. “The tone was that she’s the almighty powerful one and you can’t really say nothing when it comes to Emma, so just keep it to yourself,” Ross says. And while Ross appreciated Roberts’s phone call apology, she also had to intervene at points in the conversation, like when Roberts tried to explain her intent behind the jokes. “I cut her off,” Ross tells me. “She tried to spin the narrative and I was like, No, no, no. I said, ‘Emma, if we’re going to talk on this phone, I’m going to be real with you, you’re going to be real with me. Let’s not do that.’”
Ross shares her unfiltered thoughts on Murphy and Roberts, her plans to “leave Hollywood,” and her experience as a Black trans woman working on American Horror Story. “What I know about whiteness is, it’s fragile as fuck,” she says. “There are books on it; White Fragility.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.