The Showtime drama series The Chi returns this June for its fifth season. A teaser trailer for the upcoming season was recently released, and one person who is noticeably absent from the promo is Jasmine Davis. Davis’ performance was a fan favorite due to the art imitating life, with her character being a trans woman. But due to parent company involvement in the show, Davis has decided to end the series altogether due to a controversial bill that passed.
Her exit comes due to Disney’s involvement in the show
Davis made the announcement in a tweet. “Due to the many inquiries, I am officially announcing. I will not be in Season 5 of @SHOTheChi and I will no longer be part of #thechi/#disneyproduction. I send a HUGE THANK YOU to all my family and supporters/fans who have hugged me throughout this journey. #Self worth,” she wrote. A fan asked the reason for her departure on Instagram, to which Davis replied, “Reasons will be discussed at a later date,” indicating the decision wasn’t amicable.
In a later tweet, Davis referenced people who claimed to be allies of the LGBTQ+ community, but ultimately weren’t. She has been on the show since season 3.
Disney owns 20th Television, which is part of Disney’s television division. The call to Disney may have something to do with the company’s initially quiet stance on Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law. The bill prohibits public school teachers from discussing their gender or sexuality in class.
Ahead of The Chi, Jasmine Davis admits she’s been hiding her trans status
Davis acted in small roles before getting her breakout role The Chi. but The Chi marks the first trans role she played. She actually considers it a kind of coming out moment since she hid her truth before.
“I was an actress before I came out, and I only did cisgender roles,” she told Kandi Burruss on the Burruss YouTube show Talk about it. “I’ve acted in some CND movies and in commercials, I’ve played moms, I recently played a New York Life commercial where I was pregnant, which was funny. So I’ve always been in this industry and I did a lot of background work that no one knew about me because I was hiding on purpose.”
Davis says she kept it her trans status hidden out of fear. “I didn’t feel insecure about myself or feel like it was something bad,” she explained. “I just didn’t want the industry to lock me up and tell me what I can’t do. So, I just realized that in order to break down walls or get out of a box, you have to do me first and then, when people find out, there’s no denying something I’ve already done.”
She appreciates the open-mindedness of the show’s viewers
Thankfully, fan reaction to her being a trans woman has been more positive than negative. Although she admits it was difficult at times. “Coming out during the [COVID-19] Pandemic had its pros and cons,” she said in an interview with EBONY. “On the one hand I could stay in the house and feel safe. On the other hand, hateful internet trolls have had plenty of time to send out hate mail and leave negative comments on social media. I probably got more love than hate, but the hate was so directed and so loud and in my face.”
She is able to ignore the negative because of the overwhelmingly positive support. She’s proud of that. “I’m glad I’m living my truth,” she added. “I’m glad I can inspire others to be what they want to be and I’m glad I can represent my LGBTQ+ community and just my black community in general.”
https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/the-chi-why-jasmine-davis-is-not-returning-to-the-show.html/ Why Jasmine Davis isn’t returning to the show