News of the film created a firestorm on Twitter on Monday as the latest example of “transface” drew the ire of actresses Jamie Clayton and Jen Richards. It was Richards who was very outspoken about the film and it’s casting decisions. Richards’ biggest issue is that by continuously choosing cisgender men for female transgender roles, the film industry is reinforcing the hurtful stereotype that says trans women are really men.
Richards was also outspoken regarding how these types of casting decisions are dangerous to the transgender community.
The film’s producer, actor Mark Ruffalo, tried to play down the controversy with a couple of tweets of his own.
Actress Jamie Clayton then got into the mix taking shots at both Ruffalo and Bomer, resulting in Bomer blocking then eventually unblocking her on twitter.
At the root of this gossip style back and forth is a very serious issue. Trans women are always played by cisgender male actors instead of a transgender actress. This is the reason why Laverne Cox’s portrayal of transgender character Sophia in Orange Is the New Black is so ground breaking. You have Jared Leto as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl, both cisgender men portraying trans women. Now Mark Ruffalo casts Matt Bomer as a trans female sex worker in his new film “Anything”, citing he always had him in mind for the role.
The problem is viewed as that it portrays transgender female characters as men who “pretend” to be women. Transgender women are women, and society will not truly understand that until it is reflected in its culture and art. If anything, the movie “Anything” appears headed for some trouble.
Jen Richards took to YouTube to sum up her point of view rgarding cisgender actors in trans roles..