Jameela Jamil Says She Isn’t MC of HBO Max Voguing Competition Show After Backlash

“I’m a long time fan of ballroom and just wanted to help this show get made to celebrate this beautiful community,” the “Good Place” star says

Jameela Jamil
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Jameela Jamil has clarified that she won’t actually act as emcee on HBO Max’s forthcoming ballroom competition show “Legendary” after facing some backlash from the LGBTQ community.

“I am just one of the judges,” the “Good Place” star wrote on Twitter. “The brilliant @DashaunWesley is [the MC]. With help from the fabulous @TheOnlyMikeQ. I’m a long time fan of ballroom and just wanted to help this show get made to celebrate this beautiful community.”

HBO Max announced Jamil as “MC and host” in a press release on Tuesday, along with the rest of the judging panel, made up of Megan Thee Stallion, Law Roach and Leiomy Maldonado. In a follow-up tweet, Jamil called that release and subsequent news stories “incorrect.”

HBO Max did not return TheWrap’s request for comment.


As noted by Out magazine, the announcement of Jamil as host of a voguing and ballroom competition was met with skepticism from those within the community. Actress and longtime member of the ballroom scene Trace Lysette said she interviewed for a role as “host/producer” on the show but was passed over.

“As the mother of a house for nearly a decade it’s kind of kind blowing when [people] with no connection to our culture gets the gig,” Lysette wrote. “This is not shade towards Jameela, I love all that she stands for. If anything I question the decision makers.”

Inspired by modern day ball culture, “Legendary” will showcase performers from the ballroom scene in a series of fashion and dance challenges as they vie for a trophy and a cash prize. It is produced by the team behind Netflix’s “Queer Eye” and veterans of “Americas’ Best Dance Crew.”

“I know some of us aren’t from ballroom, but we are here to bring our followings, press and new audiences to the show, to support and celebrate the ballroom community,” Jamil tweeted on Wednesday. “That is all.”