Dublin: 17 °C Monday 15 August, 2022

A number of Hollywood companies have pledged to improve transgender representation in their productions

The issue is in the spotlight following the backlash to Scarlett Johansson’s casting as a trans man last month.

THE RECENT BACKLASH to Scarlett Johansson’s casting as a transgender man in the upcoming Rupert Sanders flick Rub & Tug, seems to have given Hollywood some food for thought, as it should have.

Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Johansson stepped back from the role as a result of the backlash and now over 45 Hollywood production companies and talent agencies have come together to pen an open letter about the issue.

The letter which was published on Variety is asking Hollywood to be more thoughtful when casting transgender roles. It also offers a guide to production companies on how to cast these roles and explains the damage that’s caused to the trans community when mistakes such as the Scarlett Johansson casting are made.

As trans people, we have grown up watching stories told about us by people who haven’t done their homework when it comes to the trans community. We have been portrayed almost exclusively as tragic victims, psychotic killers, and one-dimensional stereotypes. We have been confused with drag queens, seen our history erased in historical films, and been ridiculed for gender expressions that don’t conform to social norms.”

The open letter also focuses on the difficulties that many trans people face in their day-to-day lives such as denial of medical treatment, higher-than-average unemployment and higher-than-average murder rates. The letter stresses the hope that Hollywood can help tell ‘authentic’ stories to improve the perception of trans people within wider society.

We believe that when trans people are empowered to help Hollywood tell our authentic stories, it will improve how trans people are treated in the real world. Those negative statistics above will become a part of our history, not our present. Let’s work together to create a beautiful, diverse, and inclusive world in which trans people are fully accepted as equal human beings.”

The letter has been signed by over 45 different production companies including Shondaland, Ava DuVernay’s Array Alliance, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot as well as the Time’s Up movement and major talent agencies in Hollywood too.

Co-founder of the 5050by2020 movement Jill Soloway told Variety that they hope the letter will bring about some change in Hollywood around transgender representation.

We’re creating a moment where a producer or a studio might think to cast a cis person in a role as a trans person and say, ‘I read that letter and it’s actually not okay anymore … the moral code has changed around this.”

DailyEdge is on Instagram!

About the author:

Rachel O'Neill

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel