Starz’s drama series ‘P-Valley’ revolves around The Pynk, a strip club located in the fictional city of Chucalissa, in the state of Mississippi. Uncle Clifford, the non-binary owner of The Pynk, nurtures an intricate relationship with Lil Murda, a rapper. Their intimacy, Lil Murda’s hesitation to acknowledge his relationship with Clifford publicly, and the rapper’s decision to prioritize his career over the relationship are integral developments in the narrative of the show. Fascinated by Nicco Annan’s incredible portrayal of Clifford, admirers of the character and actor have been curious about the actor’s sexual orientation. On that note, here’s everything you need to know!
Is Nicco Annan’s Uncle Clifford Gay in Real Life?
Nicco Annan, who portrays Uncle Clifford, is an openly gay actor. For Annan, being involved in ‘P-Valley’ is a way to interact with his queer community. “As a Black man and as a Black gay man, it’s very seldom that I get the opportunity to tell such a rich, lush story that really means something and that I really feel speaks to my community and can uplift us,” he told Essence. “For me as an artist and as a gay Black man, I said, ‘There is truth to be told here.’ Uncle Clifford was an opportunity, I felt, for people to be able to get to know Black people on the [LGBTQ] spectrum in a more intimate way,” the actor emphasized to Xtra Magazine.
When Annan first approached Clifford as a character for the stage production of creator Katori Hall’s ‘Pussy Valley,’ the source text of the show, Hall introduced the character as “a person that can accept and access all of their femininity and all of their masculinity,” recollected Annan to Collider. “Being a gay man, I was just like, ‘This is a freaking opportunity of a lifetime, to be able to bring some humanity to my community and to be able to really see the inside of Uncle Clifford, so that could spill over,’” he added about the introduction to the character.
Portraying Clifford also gave Annan an opportunity to broaden his knowledge concerning the community he is part of. “I was able, as an actor, to learn more about Uncle Clifford and the non-binary and genderfluid members of my community,” he told Collider in the same interview. He also researched extensively to portray the character as well. “I was able to experience the little nuances in my life, as a gay man, and then, in the research when I was creating her [Clifford], I really spent a lot of time with non-binary members of the community,” he added.
According to Annan, joining ‘P-Valley’ was also about widening the representation of Black queer life on television. “Being a dark-skinned man, and a man that is gay, I wanted to embrace all of the things that people say are going to hold you back,” Annan told Vanity Fair while talking about his role in ‘P-Valley.’
Is Uncle Clifford a Real Strip Club Owner?
No, Uncle Clifford is not a real strip club owner. The character is conceived by creator Katori Hall for ‘Pussy Valley,’ the source play of the show. Hall conceived the character as a combination of three real-life individuals. “Uncle Clifford is a fusion of three people in my life – my mama, my daddy and my Uncle Clifford. I had three amazing human beings who raised and reared me, and I wanted to create a character that paid homage to them,” the creator told Collider. Hall created the fictional backstory of a strip club owner to develop the “fusion” to a full-fledged character.
Even though the character Uncle Clifford is severely different from the real-life Uncle Clifford, Hall found it significant to use the same name. “I always try, in everything that I do, to name a character after a family member. I feel that it’s a way to honor ancestry. So, I wanted to attach Uncle Clifford’s name to this character. He’s completely different from the fictionalized Uncle Clifford, but he’s got lots to say,” the creator added. Hall wanted Uncle Clifford to feel like a mother and a pimp, “all within a few seconds of each other.”
Uncle Clifford’s life as a strip-club owner is seemingly a result of Hall’s extensive research that revolved around real strip clubs. She had visited several strip clubs to know more about the lives who work in such clubs to authentically conceive her characters, apparently including Uncle Clifford.
Read More: Where is P-Valley Filmed?