Caitlyn Jenner has come aboard the trans actress’s Oscar campaign. “I learned so much from this film…. For me it was brutally honest,” said Jenner at a screening of “Tangerine.” “Stories like this are nothing but good for our community.”
Jenner praised the film for being “real” and highlighting “real issues in [the trans] community.” She singled out Taylor’s performance, calling it “magnificent.”
The “I Am Cait” star has been accused of serving as the poster child of a rich, white, privileged trans woman oblivious to the wider trans community. Just last month, Jenner was criticized for commenting on the supposed importance of trans individuals “presenting” conventional gender traits to avoid making people “uncomfortable,” a statement she later apologized for.
Jenner drew attention to vastly different concerns at this event: Variety reports that “she’s supporting the film in the hopes that it will generate greater awareness of transgender, issues such as suicide, homelessness, healthcare, proper identification and being the victims of crimes.”
“I want to see more understanding,” Jenner explained. “I want to see the whole movement move forward. The movie brought to light the biggest issue in our community which is trans women of color.”
And while you may be suffering from Jenner and Kardashian fatigue, consider the power that comes with their ubiquity. Jenner was a runner-up for Time’s 2015 Person of the Year. Don’t underestimate the impact of her endorsement: “Tangerine,” which was shot exclusively on an iPhone, has made just over $702,354 at the box office. Jenner will likely — hopefully — be introducing a new, wider audience to the film.
“Tangerine” marks the first Oscar campaign for trans actresses, the unfortunate reality being that they are rarely cast in films. The few prominent films that feature transgender characters typically have cis actors portraying them (such as the Oscar contender “The Danish Girl”).
Taylor collaborated with the film’s director and co-writer Sean Baker on the story of “Tangerine.”
The 2016 Academy Award nominees will be announced January 14.