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Welcome To Chippendale’s Stars Strip Down The Series' Themes About Race

Welcome To Chippendale’s Stars Strip Down The Series' Themes About Race

Welcome to Chippendales
Erin Simkin/Hulu

Quentin Plair and Robin de Jesús get real with PRIDE about how discourse around race and inequality impacts the series.


Hulu’s highly anticipated, sexy — and very queer — new series Welcome to Chippendales is finally here. Based on the true crime story of Chippendales founder Somen “Steve” Banerjee, the series details his rise to power and how he would stop at nothing to get there.

The series stars Kumail Nanjiani as Banerjee along with Murray Bartlett, Juliette Lewis, Annaleigh Ashford, Quentin Plair, Robin de Jesús, Andrew Rannells, and Spencer Boldman. Guest stars include Nicola Peltz Beckham and Dan Stevens.

PRIDE had the opportunity to chat with Plair and de Jesús about their roles, and they opened up about how race and discrimination play an important role in the series.

“I think Otis is an ambitious individual, he really wanted something for himself,” Plair tells PRIDE about his character. “[As an athlete or a dancer] you only have a certain amount of time that you can do what you do. And as a dancer, your body’s gonna break down on you eventually. I only had a couple of months of dancing, I’ll tell you, my joints and all that stuff. I could feel it.”

“I think that needing to have a next step was something that really fueled him,” adds Plair. “Ultimately, it was something that caused him to have to leave. Because if you see a place where your ceiling is capped then you need to break through that in some way, and his version was leaving.”

“It was definitely tough to go through all that and be the best dancer, to be the most popular dancer, the person that people were coming in to see. But then at the same time to like, ‘oh, no when it comes to this, we can’t use you,’” Plair imparts.

“All day a hustler,” is how de Jesús describes his character Ray Colon to PRIDE. “He’s got to do whatever he can and needs to do to survive.”

Returning to Plair’s comments and the subject of how race impacts the series, de Jesús praises the nuance with which it’s tackled on screen. “What’s so crazy, talking about what [Plair was] just talking about, is that white supremacy and thought present itself in so many different ways. So [it’s] this weird thing of Steve Banerjee is not a white man, but the thoughts of white supremacy have been placed in him. And so he’s now become a tool for it,” he says.

“Thank you, universe, that we’re finally having this convo, because a lot of us have always known, but people haven’t had the brain space, apparently, for it or the humanity,” de Jesús adds. “Now we’re at a place where we are. That’s really cool. That’s really healing. So I’m proud of our show that we’re bringing that out there.”

“With Ray, you know, he came from the Bronx. He was a survivor. He’s got to do what he’s got to do. And this man is gonna help me climb the social ladder. And I’m gonna follow his lead. Until something told me maybe I shouldn’t,” concludes de Jesús.

Welcome to Chippendales is streaming now on Hulu. Watch the trailer below.

Welcome to Chippendales | Official Trailer | Hulu

Every dream has a dark side. #WelcometoChippendales Now Streaming On @hulu, Disney+ Internationally, and Star+ in Latin America.A sprawling true-crime saga, ...

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