Tuesday, May 07, 2019


There is no need to have cisgender actors/actresses play trans actors, there are so many talented trans actors/actresses out there many of them have won awards.
How Trans Actors Are Rewriting the Rules of TV Casting
The New York Times
By Nico Lang
May 3, 2019

Although Jen Richards is transgender, the character she played in the NBC series “Blindspot” was not — at least not on the page.

Richards was approached last year by the showrunner Martin Gero to play, she said, an “aggressive, duplicitous C.I.A. agent,” in a two-episode arc that aired in January. “He saw something in me and liked me,” she recalled, adding that she wasn’t asked to audition for the part.

She had recently picked up Gotham and Peabody Awards for “Her Story,” a web series she starred in and helped write about a pair of trans best friends juggling their personal and professional lives. The six-episode drama was hailed as a landmark moment for L.G.B.T.Q. representation — a rare chance to see trans lives depicted honestly and authentically.

But when Gero reached out to Richards for the role of Sabrina Larren, it was because he had seen her guest star as a therapist in an episode of “Nashville” and admired the “ease, strength and empathy in her performance,” he wrote in an email.
Did you get that? She is playing the part of a cisgender woman and she won awards for her acting! She was hired not because she’s trans but for her acting skills.
Trans actors say such casting opportunities should be more routine. That is seldom the case. While television has made great strides in L.G.B.T.Q. inclusion with shows such as “Orange Is the New Black” and “Pose,” when trans actors are called in to read for a project, they still find they are only considered for parts specifically written for transgender people.
But recently, Cordelia was invited to audition for a walk-on role in “The Red Line,” a CBS show that premiered this month. A law clerk in the district attorney’s office, the character only has one line.

What made the tiny part unique is that the casting call permitted anyone — regardless of gender or race — to audition.
There are so many talented trans people out there…
13 Trans Actors to Follow Instead of Scarlett Johansson
"Trans people live our lives everyday, and our lives are not costumes. They are real and worthy of celebration."
By Eva Reign
July 6, 2018

From Boys Don’t Cry to Transamerica, Dallas Buyer’s Club to The Danish Girl, Hollywood loves a trans narrative. After all, they’ve historically nabbed Oscar nominations, critical acclaim, and cultural purchase for forcing society to see gender and the struggles of a marginalized community in new light. Yet Hollywood’s love of trans stories highlights one blaring problem: its equal love of cisgender actors, whom the industry almost always casts to play transgender roles.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Scarlett Johansson would star as Dante “Tex” Gill in the upcoming film Rub & Tug. The film is based on the real-life story of Gill, a trans-masculine person; given Johansson is a cisgender woman, many criticized the choice as tone-deaf, given how much trans acting talent exists in Hollywood today. Trans actors are more than capable of portraying their own community. And beyond moral or ethical arguments against it, Johansson’s casting highlights the inherent injustice of casting a cis actor for a trans role: It denies trans actors access to opportunities in an industry where they already face systemic discrimination. Pursuing a trans storyline with cis actors diminishes the multi-faceted, impossibly complex narratives of trans folk, and says we’re incapable of telling our own stories.
Some of the actresses/actors the article mentions are,

  • Laverne Cox
  • Elliot Fletcher
  • Trace Lysette
  • Brian Michael Smith
  • Tom Phelan
  • Jamie Clayton

And I would also add,

  • Michelle Hendley
  • Rachel Crowl
  • Rebecca Root

In addition I would also like to add two producers; the two Wachowski sisters.

It was wrong when Yul Brynner played The King and I, and Sidney Toler played Charlie Chan, and when Burt Lancaster and Charles Bronson played Native Americans, it is also wrong for cisgender actors play trans parts.

Those who say that they are hiring cisgender actors because of their box office draw ae using circular logic; trans actors are not being hired because they don’t have name recognition but they can’t get “name recognition” because they are not being hired.

Let’s end trans face now and start employing trans actresses/actors for not only trans parts but also cisgender parts.

1 comment:

  1. As an actor, my fear is "how far will this go". Will Irish characters only be played by Irish actors? Italian characters? Someone once said (if I had time I'd look it up) you need to get the best actor for the role, whoever that might be. I agree,to bring proper life to the piece you need the best actors available.