Hollywood Companies Vow To Give Transgender People More Representation
Recently, a lot of production companies, film studios and talent agencies have extended support to LGBT and especially transgender representation. They have even called out to Hollywood to make use of its soft power in telling authentic stories.
Latest controversies like Scarlett Johansson taking up the role of a transgender man and then refusing it. Or Jeffrey Tambor allegedly harassing trans women on the sets of the Emmy award-winning series Transparent are just proofs that Hollywood still has a long way to go here.
The Time’s Up Organization has taken an initiative in the right direction. In an open letter from Hollywood’s transgender agency published in Variety, it has urged studios to work on stories that revolve around transgender people. Not just that, but do so with the help of transgenders. Ever since Scarlett Johansson quit the ‘Rub and Tug’ a huge cry on social media broke out. In the letter, the organization has requested Hollywood to improve the position of transgender people in American society. And that can only be done when they are portrayed in a light that helps people understand who they really are.
The trade magazine has also conducted a round table discussion with trans actors including Laverne Cox from Orange Is the New Black, Chaz Bono from the American Horror Story: Cult and Trace Lysette from Transparent. It has also interviewed Caitlyn Jenner on her struggles for trans rights. The signatories on this open letter forwarded to Hollywood included activist groups, production companies, talent agencies and different unions. Among the major ones, there were CAA, ICM Partners, UTA, WME, Ava DuVernay’s Array Alliance, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, and Norman Lear’s Act III.
The letter put forward the view that movies are empathy machines. Previously, films have broken stereotypes about gay and lesbian people. But now that women, people of color, and disabled communities want their authentic stories on television and big screens, the LGBT community desires the same. Further, the organization has also developed a resource guide on casting authentically and making work environments trans-inclusive.
Hollywood has positively responded to the requests. Hollywood believes that diversity is essential and inclusions matter. And if a project can not be completed without having people of color or women on board, the same goes for the trans community. Soloway has brought forward the impression that if cisgender actors portray trans, people might get the impression that transgenders are merely dressed in costumes.
Soloway further said that even if transgenders are not heard on social media, Hollywood is creating a moment that whenever a producer wishes to cast a cisgender as a trans person, he remembers this letter. And knows that the moral codes have changed, and its not okay to do that anymore.
So, it seems that Hollywood has finally realized that transgenders are as important as anybody out there. It’s just time that they gain the same recognition and respect.