If there’s one thing Laverne Cox knows how to do, it’s work a red carpet. On Monday, it was announced that the primetime Emmy-nominated and Daytime Emmy-winning actress-activist-producer best known for her breakout role in Orange Is the New Black will soon be working the red carpet for E!, as the network’s newest host of its flagship live red carpet coverage.
“I’m so excited and deeply humbled to be hosting E!’s iconic red carpet coverage,” said Cox in a statement, reported by Page Six. “For many years I would wake up early on awards show days, get my snacks in place and watch E!’s coverage all day long. I dreamed of walking red carpets … I can’t wait to get started while hopefully serving up fashion fantasies for the ages, honey.”
We can’t wait, either—Cox is due to begin her reign in January 2022. But in case you’re wondering why this is a big deal, she will be replacing longtime face of the red carpet (and arguably, the network) Giuliana Rancic, who is departing E! after a 20-year run, having inked a development deal with NBCUniversal. Fellow E! veteran Ryan Seacrest also recently parted ways with the network, as has longtime host Jason Kennedy—meaning the time is right for fresh blood at E!, and making plenty of room for Cox’s larger-than-life presence.
Also a big deal? Cox, who was the first trans person to win a Daytime Emmy for 2014's Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word, in addition to the more recently acclaimed documentary she executive produced, Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen (2020), will seemingly be the first openly trans host to become the face of a show at the network—and certainly the first for E! Live from the Red Carpet.
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Cox will take up the post beginning with the 2022 awards season...She’ll be bringing her “passion for advocacy, fashion and fun” to the network, according to E!, while building out “a modern, inclusive and interactive experience for celebrities and their fans.” She’ll also host a series of televised celebrity interviews for the network as well, highlighting those who are “making an impact” in the Hollywood community.
“Laverne Cox is a risk-taker, groundbreaking pioneer and a fashion tour de force,” NBCUniversal’s Jen Neal said in a statement (h/t Page Six). “As we continue to evolve the way we cover Hollywood’s biggest nights, Laverne’s passion for, and extensive knowledge of, the fashion community resonates with our audience and we look forward to seeing her shine on the other side of the velvet rope.”