In the world of sports there is no love in basketball but instead fame, money, power, sex, and greed take over the court in the fan-favorite hour-long drama Hit the Floor. The show, entering its fourth season has landed a new home at BET. For the first three seasons, the show aired on sister network VH1 where it garnered a massive following. It was actually the fans that worked to see the show return. After season three, the fate of the show was left in limbo and it was BET who presented an offer show creator James LaRosa couldn’t refuse, “bring the show to BET, it’s fan base, and keep it the same,” LaRosa told me by phone.
Hit the Floor is set in Los Angeles and follow the lives of the fictional professional basketball team, LA Devils and its dance squad, the Devil Girls. What’s great about the show is its all in approach to inclusiveness—including he representation of the LGBTQ community.
OUT contributor Kelsey Minor had the opportunity to talk with show creator and showrunner James LaRosa about creating a space for LGBTQ characters to flourish in the world of professional sports.
OUT: James, let’s talk about the move from VH1 to BET, which doesn’t have programming like your show with major LGBTQ characters?
James LaRosa: “When BET said come on over I thought it was great and it’s interesting to me just speaking from an LGBTQ perspective, I don’t know that these types of storylines specifically were in the wheelhouse at BET as much as they are on Hit the Floor and I think that’s been great on the part of BET to bring us over because all of those relationships are so normalized as a part of this world. This show is very inclusive and wherever you are from and whether it’s gender or sexuality there is someone on the show who represents that or could represent that.”
OUT: There isn’t a show like this on BET or any show already on the network that explores and confronts gender and sexuality norms and explores the LGBTQ community like Hit the Floor.
JL: “I hope that our show and with the LGBTQ storylines, people will take away that these kinds of relationships shouldn’t be out the scope of what is normal. The LGBTQ characters and storylines are absolutely equal to every other storyline on the show and the sex scenes have to be hot—no matter if you are in a straight coupling or a gay coupling or an unlabeled coupling, everything and everyone is equal but keep in mind it’s not just about sex. Our straight relationships aren’t just about sex neither are the gay or lesbian relationships. The characters on this show are multidimensional and I would like people to not focus so much on oh that’s a gay storyline but more on the humanity of each character.”
OUT: Your LGBTQ characters on the show are multidimensional and go against what people may perceive as being gay or lesbian. How did you decide to write the characters in this way?
JL: “I would hope that in 2018 people have at least one out person in their life and know that we are not all the same. We don’t all have the same background and that has to be true of the characters because the characters this season who might brave the LGBTQ experience are doing so in a way to show that in this world we are made up of differences. I don’t know if there is anyone who is gay or lesbian or whatever that picks the box you’re supposed to pick. There is no right or wrong way to gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. The characters on this show are more than the label.”
OUT: The show is known for its twist and turns, the backstabbing, I like to call a guilty pleasure wrapped in stuffed burrito. So what can the fans expect from season four on BET? Will we get that same level of intensity?”
JL: I can tell you that we are as twisted as we always were and this season is certainly going to give all the life as it has in the past. We will be snatching all the wigs that we have in the past so I suggest that everyone grab hold of your edges because Hit the Floor is back steamier and hotter than ever. This show is for the fans that have waited so patiently for us to return.”
Hit The Floor premieres Tuesday, July 10th on BET.
KELSEY MINOR is a two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and freelance contributor with OUT. You can follow him on Twitter @theKELSEYminor.