BY: Sonny Bunch
Introducing a new series, in which we occasionally look at the things that are rustling the jimmies of the angry PC crowd and determine just how problematic they actually are.Read More
Introducing a new series, in which we occasionally look at the things that are rustling the jimmies of the angry PC crowd and determine just how problematic they actually are.
On the one hand, Hollywood does a shameful job of telling non-traditional love stories. It’s all heteronormative this, patriarchal presumption that. The industry’s commitment to shining a light on diverse angles of the lived experience is, at best, lacking.
On the other, when they do actually try to tell more diverse stories, they almost always manage to make a hash of it. Despite the fact that avenues for trans actors to obtain work are remarkably limited, the industry keeps hiring cis thespians for these roles. The offensiveness manifests itself in any number of ways. Consider Jared Leto’s problematic acceptance speech following his Golden Globes win last year. Everyone thought it was a big step forward for The Shield and Justified‘s Walton Goggins to play a transwoman on Sons of Anarchy, but they ignored the ways in which it was problematic. Liberal allies sent up a mighty cheer when Amazon’s Transparent debuted, but they failed to consider the ways in which it too was problematic.
So, naturally, there were a few murmured positive comments when it was announced that Eddie Redmayne—fresh off his big win at the Oscars and his star-making turn as Balem Abrasax in Jupiter Ascending—would, according to the Wrap, portray “a Danish-born artist who was one of the first known people to undergo sex reassignment surgery. Born male, she underwent a series of experimental surgeries in Germany, beginning in 1930.” However, the fully problematic nature of this troubling bit of casting soon became apparent:
Wow. I mean, really? In this day and age? You would cast an Oscar-winning performer in a role that required a delicate touch and tremendous sensibility to be done right? Are you kidding me? AYFKM? Shameful. Just shameful, Hollywood.
While it’s important to recognize Hollywood’s effort to bring new experiences to the big screen, we must also recognize that the casting of a straight, cis actor in the role of a transwoman is something out of the Stone Age.
I give the transgression of casting of Eddie Redmayne as a transwoman Two Problematics.Read Less