The Hollywood Reporter hosted a
conversation between 21 transgender actors, directors and writers on
being transgender in Hollywood.
The conversation comes after Scarlett
Johansson announced that she will not play a transgender man in the
upcoming film Rub & Tug. Johansson withdrew from the role
after intense backlash over the decision not to cast a transgender
man in the film's leading role.
Johansson drops transgender role in Rub
Actress Jazzmun (When We Rise)
said that she's holding the director responsible, not just Johansson.
“Scarlett, because she's in front of
the camera, she's a star, she's getting the beating, but I'm holding
the director responsible,” Jazzmun said. “I'm holding
responsible the casting agent that did not bring in enough folks or
didn't believe enough trans folks could do that part. Everyone is
responsible for that, everyone.”
Actor Tom Phelan (The Fosters)
said it was “kinda shitty” for transgender men and women in
“It's kinda shitty all around,”
said. “God knows, there are a lot of times where I'll go into
an audition and I'll be in the waiting room with all of my trans
friends [men and women] because the casting breakdown says trans and
they don't differentiate between the two.”
Reality star Zeke Smith (Survivor)
said that people don't know transgender men exist.
“Trans women face this major
challenge of combating stereotypes,” Smith said. “There are all
these poor representations of trans women as sex workers, as serial
killers, as deranged sexual beings. Trans men sort of face the
opposite problem. People don't really know we exist. Trans men are so
invisible in the zeitgeist that we don’t even have a slur. People
haven't even taken the time to come up with a mean thing to call us.
Transgender men are so invisible that a guy whose biggest
accomplishment is being on two seasons of a reality show is
considered a worthwhile voice to comment on transgender men in
Reality star and performer Peppermint
(RuPaul's Drag Race) said that things were slowly changing for
“Early in my career ... if you were a
trans person, a trans woman on screen, you were probably the
prostitute that was either going to get arrested or get killed. I
honestly never thought there was any other reality that they were
trying to explore. Of course, things have changed now and television
is really leading the charge,” she said.