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GLAAD and Time’s Up Initiative 5050by2020 Write Open Letter Fighting for Transgender Representation in Hollywood

Following the Scarlett Johansson "Rub & Tug" casting controversy, leaders in Hollywood penned an open letter in support of telling trans stories authentically.



More than 45 leading production companies, talent agencies, and advocacy organizations have signed an open letter advocating for greater and more authentic transgender representation in Hollywood. Ryan Murphy Productions, SAG AFTRA, ACLU, Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Alliance, Shondaland, Norman Lear’s Act III Productions, Apatow Productions, Bad Robot, Berlanti Productions, Casting Society of America, CAA, ICM, UTA, WME, Women In Film, Color Of Change and many more signed the open letter.

The letter was published under the guidance of GLAAD and 5050by2020, a strategic initiative within Time’s Up advocating for increased inclusion of women, people of color, and LGBTQ people in media. The open letter urges the entertainment industry to prioritize telling transgender stories, include trans creators in the creative process, and cast trans roles more authentically.

“We believe that when trans people are empowered to help culture makers tell our authentic stories, it will improve how trans people are treated in the real world,” the letter states. “Women, people of color, people with disabilities, and diverse faith groups have made it clear they want more authentic stories about their lives in films and on TV. Trans people feel the same way.”

The letter was published exclusively in Variety, along with its very first transgender actors roundtable. The statement was primarily in response to last month’s news that Scarlett Johansson was cast to play a transgender man in the new film “Rub & Tug.” Johansson stepped down from the role after a public outcry.

“This historic display of intersectional support for more authentic and inclusive transgender media images sends a loud message of allyship to transgender people,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Hollywood changed the game for gay and lesbian acceptance by telling compelling stories and involving community members in front and behind the camera. At a time when the industry is at a tipping point for empowering diverse voices and audiences are demanding more inclusion, Hollywood needs to prioritize transgender talent and stories.”

Read the entire open letter at Variety.

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