'My blood was boiling.' The Emma Roberts allegations are being swept away, but you need to read them.

Emma Roberts is once again the subject of negative headlines – this time, thanks to behaviour on the set of Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story.

Roberts has privately apologised for transphobic behaviour towards her American Horror Story: 1984 co-star Angelica Ross, after Ross recalled a number of on-set incidents on social media this week.

Ross shared during an earlier Instagram Live that a co-star she initially just named as 'Emma' intentionally misgendered her in between filming takes.

She had claimed the co-star, who most people correctly assumed was Roberts, had been joking around saying "Angelica is being mean" while speaking to a man named John (which could've been AHS director John J. Gray).

He replied, "Okay, ladies, you know, that's enough. Let's get back to work,'" Ross recalled.

Ross, who is transgender, said Roberts then replied; "Don't you mean lady?" – implying that there was only one lady between them.

"What the f**k did you just say?" Ross remembered thinking. 

"I'm standing there, she walked away, my blood is boiling. Boiling because I'm like, 'If I say something, it's gonna be me that's the problem'. And I know this because there was someone who spoke up about what she was doing and they got repercussions from it. Not her — they did.

"When I saw that happening, I was just like, 'I'm done. I'm done.' I didn't speak to that b***h the entire time after that," Ross continued. 

"She said to me she could feel the energy coming off of me. She was like, 'Are you okay? You haven't been talking.' I'm like, 'Mmhmm,' 'cause b***h, don't play me. You've been playing mind games with everybody on the set and everybody's been waiting for the moment that you would get me."


In a tweet, Ross also said Roberts mocked her voice.

"We're all sitting around & I'm copying [co-star Cody Fern's Australian] accent," Ross wrote. "Didn't know he had one. Emma then copies my voice & laugh and drops it several octaves. I was SHOOK. She read me for blood with my own words, of course I was self conscious about my voice on set after that."

Hours later, Ross tweeted that Roberts had called her to apologise.

"Thank you @RobertsEmma for calling and apologising, recognizing your behavior was not that of an ally. I will leave the line open to follow up on your desire to do better and support social justice causes with your platform."

From there, the conversation quickly petered out – perhaps because a swift apology and a promise to do better are appropriate responses. Can we ask for more than that?

On the other hand, it's interesting that similar stories have taken off in a way this simply has not.

In 2020, Roberts' friend Lea Michele was accused of racism on the set of Glee by her former co-star Samantha Ware.

"Remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?! Cause I'll never forget," Ware tweeted after Michele shared a message of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. 

"I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would 's**t in my wig!' amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood."

Other Glee actors backed her account up, including one of the main cast members, Amber Riley. 

Michele apologised on Instagram but the story had already become bigger than her, spinning off into wider conversations about microaggressions, racism and on-set power imbalances, and becoming a scandal that followed her around for years – mostly until she was able to revive her career when she was cast in Funny Girl on Broadway.


Meanwhile, the Roberts story has mostly come and gone without it leading to broader social conversation.

Why is that?

Roberts was a Hollywood sweetheart when she entered the industry as a child star and a tween idol on Nickelodeon show Unfabulous. As the daughter of Oscar-nominated actor Eric Roberts and the niece of his sister, Julia Roberts, she had Hollywood royalty in her corner and was a nepo baby in the truest sense.

She gave us some iconic teen roles in films like Wild Child before becoming a Ryan Murphy favourite, and as an adult, Roberts made a name for herself playing 'mean girl' roles – like Chanel Oberlin in Scream Queens and Madison Montgomery in two seasons of American Horror Story

Perhaps we're conflating her roles with her real-life persona. She *is* somewhat notorious for being a diva.

But 'diva' is not equal to 'transphobic', and transphobia should not be considered the unsurprising cousin of mean-girl behaviour.

Or maybe it's just that we're fatigued. The celebrity news cycle has been pretty down in the dumps lately, switching from assaults to divorce to more alleged assaults.

Whatever the reason, the resulting silence is disappointing.

The answer is not to cancel Emma Roberts — and here's hoping Ross' assertion that Roberts wants to 'do better' with her platform proves to be true — but more so to interrogate the culture in which she operates. 

Feature image: Getty.

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