Ugh, how amazing would Paris Is Burning be as a musical TV drama? If you never thought of it, Lee Daniels did but, unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. The director and Empire svengali opened up to his Precious (Based on the novel Push by Sapphire)—Gabourey Sidibe—in V Magazine issue 98 about his first foray into television:
I didn’t know that I wanted to do TV, but a musical lived in me. And then I wrote something for Showtime, a musical version of Paris Is Burning....I wrote it and we never…it never…it was too deep, honey. It was too much for the children, honey. It was too much! It was fabulous, Gabby. So that was my experience with TV. I thought, primetime is never going to fuck with me, so that was it. Then Danny Strong came to me with this idea. He wanted to do Empire as a movie. And I said, No. I want to make money and I want to do it on TV.
Now that Empire has gagged the television landscape, is Paris Is Burning: The TV Show still too much for the children?
Check out the rest of the interview here.
Les Fabian Brathwaite—butch queen first time in drags at a ball.