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The pressure is on for Hollywood to portray transgender characters in movies and television more positively.
In concert with GLAAD, a recent manifesto signed by more than 45 groups, talent agencies, and production companies state that the age of Trump makes the need for transgender characters more dire than ever before, according to LifeSiteNews.
“As a community, trans people are fighting every day to be seen and accepted as human beings,” the letter says.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Color of Change, the Sundance Institute, Sony Pictures Classics, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the production companies of J.J. Abrams, Shonda Rhimes, Judd Apatow, and more were all signatories.
The letter also alleges that Hollywood employs destructive stereotypes against transgenders by portraying them “almost exclusively as tragic victims, psychotic killers and one-dimensional stereotypes.” To curtail this, the group demands the business start making “rich and diverse stories” that will contribute to “changing America’s understanding about who trans people are.”
A “guide to creating trans-inclusive culture” was included alongside the letter to enlighten the powers-that-be. LifeSiteNews profiled the many silly suggestions:
Having “experienced trans people” review scripts and source material on trans-related projects, holding transgender sensitivity training for casts and crew, and hiring trans people “in every area of your project, from directing, to costumes, to lighting, to craft services, to accounting” even when making content that isn’t specifically about transgenderism.
The group also scolds the industry for hiring non-trans actors to play trans roles as they try to hire recognizable stars. “It simply isn’t cost effective to take this risk,” they say, “recent projects which cast cis actors to play trans roles have felt the tide of public opinion turn against them and have taken a hit at the box office.”
If anything, the non-inclusion of a recognizable star might make the situation even worse. They seem to forget that the CBS show “Doubt” starring transgender actor Laverne Cox tanked within just two weeks of airing.
The letter follows GLAAD giving the major studios failing grades on LGBT representation in major films.