How Ts Madison Stole the “Zola” Trailer

On March 31st, International Trans Day of Visibility, following some COVID related delays, the trailer was finally dropped, and although Taylour Paige and Riley Keough look to impress as lead characters Zola and Stefani, a brief cameo from a queer icon was what convinced me I have to see this movie.

Matthew Stiuso
Matthew Stiuso
April 1, 2021

The greatest story ever tweeted is coming to theater’s this summer thanks to A24. “Zola”, which tells the story of Aziah “Zola” Wells King, has been long awaited ever since it was announced that the now iconic Twitter thread, comprised of King’s tweets recounting a long and suspenseful falling out between her and a friend, was going to be adapted into a film. On March 31st, International Trans Day of Visibility, following some COVID related delays, the trailer was finally dropped, and although Taylour Paige and Riley Keough look to impress as lead characters Zola and Stefani, a brief cameo from a queer icon was what convinced me I have to see this movie.

Riley Keough and Taylour Paige in “Zola”

Riley Keough and Taylour Paige in “Zola”

Ts Madison, the internet sensation turned activist, is set to be making her film debut as a character fittingly named Hollywood, the same city Madison will shortly be taking over. Madison, a trans woman of color, has had a slew of success on the internet following her breakout on the social media app Vine. She has produced her own hilarious web series “The Queen Supreme Court”, and now stars in her own reality show “The Ts Madison Experience” where she documents her journey to become the first Black trans woman to host her own mainstream daytime talk show. Watching Madison’s rise to the top has been a show on its own. Her humor and effervescence make her instantly likable, as well as her earnest desire to represent for her community. She’s easy to root for, and does the work uplifting others as well.

Poster for Ts Madison’s new show “The Ts Madison Experience” featuring Tiffany Pollard.

Poster for Ts Madison’s new show “The Ts Madison Experience” featuring Tiffany Pollard.

Seeing Ts Madison in the trailer for “Zola” was thrilling, and many on Twitter agree. It’s always refreshing to see more trans POC in mainstream media, especially in roles where they are not victimized. Shows such as “POSE” have been major breakthroughs for trans women of color onscreen, although at times, the show delves into the unfortunately realistic trauma of being queer in the late 1980’s. Although we know from the Twitter thread that “Zola” promises dark twists and turns, Ts Madison looks to be a ray of light. Madi owns her few seconds of screen time, and proves like she belongs on the big screen.

Ts Madison in “Zola”

Ts Madison in “Zola”

The glimpse of Ts in the trailer may be all we see of Ts in the entire film, but it won’t be the last of her we see on the big screen. With her unstoppable work ethic, and undeniable charisma, Ts Madison is poised to fulfill her very own words of wisdom, by being herself, getting a job, and owning a business.