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Old 10th July 2018, 02:02 PM   #1
Ranb
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When is it acting and when is it insensitive?

Scarlotte Johansenn is getting crap for signing on to portray Tex Gill in the movie Rug and Tug. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8656640/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Dante Tex Gill; https://newsinteractive.post-gazette...ante-tex-gill/
Quote:
For awhile, DeLucia’s business partner was Dante “Tex” Gill, an overweight Brentwood woman who dressed like a man in suits and ties, wore short hair and sideburns and preferred to be called “Mr. Gill.” A lesbian, Gill married Cynthia Bruno of Dallas, Texas, in Hawaii and lived with her in Pittsburgh before the couple eventually split.
http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...acklash-2018-7
Quote:
Trace Lysette, a transgender actress who plays Shea on "Transparent" took to Twitter: "And not only do you play us and steal our narrative and our opportunity but you pat yourselves on the back with trophies and accolades for mimicking what we have lived... so twisted. I'm so done."
So some people object to Scarlett Johansson portraying Tex Gill instead of hiring a transgender actor to play the part. The other side takes the position that Ms. Johansson is an actor, so she can play any part she wants.

Seeing as how actors are paid to be something they're not, where is the line to be drawn? Personally I can't be bothered to get really upset about whitewashing or anything similar. I have written about how annoying it is to alter a book character to fit what Hollywood wants to see on the screen; the changes to Starship Troopers and Edge of Tomorrow (All You Need is Kill) are examples of my displeasure.

But to use an actor who does not exactly fit the profile of the subject matter is no big deal in my opinion. After watching Bridget Moynahan portray Susan Calvin in I, Robot and Valarie Bertinelli as Pancho Barnes, why would anyone care who plays an ugly old bat like Dante Gill?

Ranb

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Old 10th July 2018, 02:20 PM   #2
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Just to help clarify:

Scarlett Johansen, and the same director, did much the same thing with Ghost in the Shell, which was originally set in Tokyo, and featured a Japanese woman as the main character.

The GiTS movie also bombed.

I didn't read Business Insider, since it's ad blocker averse, but a good part of this amounts to "Um, why are they being allowed to do this same thing again when they failed once already?" in addition to the "hey, could you hire a trans person for once?" angle.
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Old 10th July 2018, 02:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
Just to help clarify:

Scarlett Johansen, and the same director, did much the same thing with Ghost in the Shell, which was originally set in Tokyo, and featured a Japanese woman as the main character.

The GiTS movie also bombed.

I didn't read Business Insider, since it's ad blocker averse, but a good part of this amounts to "Um, why are they being allowed to do this same thing again when they failed once already?" in addition to the "hey, could you hire a trans person for once?" angle.
I want to hilight a distinction between these examples, though.

In GiTS, the character of the Major was previously portrayed (in Manga and Anime) as wearing an ethnically Japanese manufactured exterior body, but for the live action movie, they made her shell European. So, in the movie, SJ is a white woman playing a white woman.

A better analogy is back in the day when all actors were men. Why did we decide that it was silly for men to keep playing women's roles? Would it seem strange if SJ was cast as the male hero? Why? This is how trans people feel... if it's just about merit, then why do we feel male actors should be cast for male characters, why not cast women, if it's just merit and actors can play any role, then half the female roles should be cast with men and vice versa.

So, realistically, it's not about merit, but rather, we do feel there's some reason that actors should be cast according to their gender. Given that this is a movie that emphasizes the gender status of a trans character, it seems like there had to be a deliberate reason to cast that role with somebody of a different gender identification.
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Old 10th July 2018, 02:43 PM   #4
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I heard an interview on NPR that suggests the OP got this slightly wrong. The objection is not exactly that they wish to see a trans-person in the part.

Their objection was that a woman was going to play a man, and they thought that wouldn't happen if that man being portrayed was not a trans man. They wanted a man to play the part. The person being interviewed thought Robert Downey Jr. would be an excellent choice.
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Old 10th July 2018, 02:52 PM   #5
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I think Brian Doyle-Murray would be a better fit than Robert Downey Jr.
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Old 10th July 2018, 02:52 PM   #6
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“My dear transpeople, why don’t you just try acting?”
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Old 10th July 2018, 03:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
Just to help clarify:

Scarlett Johansen, and the same director, did much the same thing with Ghost in the Shell, which was originally set in Tokyo, and featured a Japanese woman as the main character.

The GiTS movie also bombed.

I didn't read Business Insider, since it's ad blocker averse, but a good part of this amounts to "Um, why are they being allowed to do this same thing again when they failed once already?" in addition to the "hey, could you hire a trans person for once?" angle.
The GiTS movie bombed because it wasnít very good. But given the premise, I donít see the problem with race. She was a Japanese woman. Her body was replaced with a robot body. The people who did it hid her real identity from everyone including her. Why would they try to make the robot body match her original ethnicity?
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Old 10th July 2018, 03:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I heard an interview on NPR that suggests the OP got this slightly wrong. The objection is not exactly that they wish to see a trans-person in the part.

Their objection was that a woman was going to play a man, and they thought that wouldn't happen if that man being portrayed was not a trans man. They wanted a man to play the part. The person being interviewed thought Robert Downey Jr. would be an excellent choice.
That's an even stupider objection, then. According to Post-Gazette article linked in the OP, Gill didn't actually undergo sex reassignment surgery, or hormone therapy, or any other gender "transition" processes. She was literally a woman acting as a man. The only correct casting decision is to cast a woman.

A woman playing a woman playing a man.

That sounds familiar... Was the Robert Downey Jr. reference actually a Tropic Thunder reference?
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Old 10th July 2018, 03:24 PM   #9
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I have it on good authority that none of the actors to have portrayed Julius Caesar, either on stage or in film, have themselves been consuls of Rome. We must collectively check our Pleb Privilege and stop the erasure of Consular Identity.
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Old 10th July 2018, 03:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
Just to help clarify:

Scarlett Johansen, and the same director, did much the same thing with Ghost in the Shell, which was originally set in Tokyo, and featured a Japanese woman as the main character.

The GiTS movie also bombed.

I didn't read Business Insider, since it's ad blocker averse, but a good part of this amounts to "Um, why are they being allowed to do this same thing again when they failed once already?" in addition to the "hey, could you hire a trans person for once?" angle.
To be fair, the creator of GiTS was OK with the US adaption, and also said that he had no problem with whatever ethnicity the actors had, because he never intended most of the characters to necessarily be ethnic Japanese in the first place. In his mind, the future he created was one where most humans (and/or Shells) were mixed race.
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Old 10th July 2018, 03:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
I have it on good authority that none of the actors to have portrayed Julius Caesar, either on stage or in film, have themselves been consuls of Rome. We must collectively check our Pleb Privilege and stop the erasure of Consular Identity.
WHy didn't the Tribune of the Plebs veto this action?
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Old 10th July 2018, 07:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
I want to hilight a distinction between these examples, though.

In GiTS, the character of the Major was previously portrayed (in Manga and Anime) as wearing an ethnically Japanese manufactured exterior body, but for the live action movie, they made her shell European. So, in the movie, SJ is a white woman playing a white woman.

A better analogy is back in the day when all actors were men. Why did we decide that it was silly for men to keep playing women's roles? Would it seem strange if SJ was cast as the male hero? Why? This is how trans people feel... if it's just about merit, then why do we feel male actors should be cast for male characters, why not cast women, if it's just merit and actors can play any role, then half the female roles should be cast with men and vice versa.

So, realistically, it's not about merit, but rather, we do feel there's some reason that actors should be cast according to their gender. Given that this is a movie that emphasizes the gender status of a trans character, it seems like there had to be a deliberate reason to cast that role with somebody of a different gender identification.
It would be super silly for a female Thor by your logic. Strangely this is a very popular character.

If an actor can play a demon, alien, soldier, doctor, god, animal, dead body, house plant, tick, rock, machine, or holocaust survivor I think we have plenty of precedent for actors playing outside of who they are.

Not to mention voice axons long history of picking the best person for the role regardless of sex.

So no I'm not seeing this obvious distinction you think exists.
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Old 10th July 2018, 07:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That's an even stupider objection, then. According to Post-Gazette article linked in the OP, Gill didn't actually undergo sex reassignment surgery, or hormone therapy, or any other gender "transition" processes.
Many trans people do not undergo medical or surgical transition. In fact, in a recent survey, 14% of trans women and 72% of trans men indicated that they have no intention of undergoing full surgical reconstruction.
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Old 10th July 2018, 08:13 PM   #14
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Far out people pick some stupid stuff to get all offended and sensitive about
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Old 10th July 2018, 08:15 PM   #15
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I don't see why it should be controversial. A trans man should be cast to play the part of a trans man.
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Old 10th July 2018, 08:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I don't see why it should be controversial. A trans man should be cast to play the part of a trans man.

Should heterosexual male roles go to heterosexual males?
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Old 10th July 2018, 08:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I don't see why it should be controversial. A trans man should be cast to play the part of a trans man.
The only thing even slightly controversial is the outrage

Maybe the producers just want to actually make some money
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Old 10th July 2018, 08:38 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Many trans people do not undergo medical or surgical transition. In fact, in a recent survey, 14% of trans women and 72% of trans men indicated that they have no intention of undergoing full surgical reconstruction.
Which brings us right back to hiring a woman to play a woman who's playing a man. I don't see the problem.

And really, even if the character had transitioned, so what? It's still a woman who, through the magic of surgery and hormones, has become more masculine. So cast a woman, and through the magic of practical effects and *********** acting, they become more masculine for the part. For thousands of years, humans have played parts radically different from themselves. Some actors have even played parts radically different from each other. It's called acting, and it's a time-honored profession for a reason.

I see nothing about transsexuality that requires a trans actor to play a trans role. Has any subculture made the transition from oppressed minority to entitled snowflake more quickly?
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Old 10th July 2018, 08:40 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
...through the magic of surgery and hormones...
You will continue to misunderstand and misrepresent the trans community until you accept that being trans does not depend on either surgery or hormones. Accept that, and we can discuss the issue further. Until then, I have nothing additional to say.
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Old 10th July 2018, 08:57 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
You will continue to misunderstand and misrepresent the trans community until you accept that being trans does not depend on either surgery or hormones. Accept that, and we can discuss the issue further. Until then, I have nothing additional to say.
Arth, I accept that transsexuality does not depend on surgery or hormones. I regret that the terminology or form of my argument has caused a misunderstanding on this point.

I hope this statement has cleared up the misunderstanding, and that our discussion can resume.
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Old 10th July 2018, 09:15 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I don't see why it should be controversial. A trans man should be cast to play the part of a trans man.
That is nonsense. Itís like saying doctors should be cast to play the part of doctors, or Catholics should play the role of Catholics, or anything else you can think of. No. The best actor for the role should be cast. Itís ACTING, for ***** sake. The entire point is to pretend to be something you are not. Itís easier if you physically resemble the roll, but guess what? A woman is physically identical to a trans man who hasnít had any surgery or hormone treatments.
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Old 10th July 2018, 09:18 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
I want to hilight a distinction between these examples, though.

In GiTS, the character of the Major was previously portrayed (in Manga and Anime) as wearing an ethnically Japanese manufactured exterior body, but for the live action movie, they made her shell European. So, in the movie, SJ is a white woman playing a white woman.

A better analogy is back in the day when all actors were men. Why did we decide that it was silly for men to keep playing women's roles? Would it seem strange if SJ was cast as the male hero? Why? This is how trans people feel... if it's just about merit, then why do we feel male actors should be cast for male characters, why not cast women, if it's just merit and actors can play any role, then half the female roles should be cast with men and vice versa.

So, realistically, it's not about merit, but rather, we do feel there's some reason that actors should be cast according to their gender. Given that this is a movie that emphasizes the gender status of a trans character, it seems like there had to be a deliberate reason to cast that role with somebody of a different gender identification.
There's certainly that as well, it's about what I said as well in large part. This used to be a major issue with black actors as well, although it's far less so in recent years. But there was still a good amount of "Seriously, her again!?" considering that there's a very real feeling that a trans actor that bombed would pretty much ruin things for years for any trans role, regardless of why the film bombed.

Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Should heterosexual male roles go to heterosexual males?
That's basically how it happens now regardless, so...
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Old 10th July 2018, 09:26 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
.....That's basically how it happens now regardless, so...
Unless I'm completely clueless, it seems that there are many more gay actors in Hollywood than gay roles.
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Old 10th July 2018, 09:30 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
That's basically how it happens now regardless, so...
Nobody asked you how it is, Mumbles. Nobody cares how you think it is.

The question was how do you think it should be.
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Old 10th July 2018, 09:33 PM   #25
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On the upside if the trans people get their way in this argument it will mean we won't be forced to have wee Cruise play Jack Reacher again.
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Old 10th July 2018, 09:39 PM   #26
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And yet the Black Widow movie sits in development hell.
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Old 10th July 2018, 09:40 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
On the upside if the trans people get their way in this argument it will mean we won't be forced to have wee Cruise play Jack Reacher again.
As a huge fan of the books, I think Tom Cruise makes a damn fine Jack Reacher on the big screen.
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Old 10th July 2018, 09:49 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
As a huge fan of the books, I think Tom Cruise makes a damn fine Jack Reacher on the big screen.
As awesome as Scarlett Johansson is, she can't afford to buy the rights to an MCU story.

Which is another reason this complaint is stupid. Johansson put her own money down, for this project. It's basically asking her to give up a part she wants, and that she paid for. It's not just a financial loss, but a personal artistic loss as well. All to mollify a community that is apparently too stupid to acquire the rights to trans stories and produce them themselves.

It's a form of vampirism, really: Find something vital and productive, and suck it dry because you aren't alive and can't actually produce anything yourself. Johansson is just kine, to these people.
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Old 10th July 2018, 09:53 PM   #29
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The Scientology thing makes me gag.

Giving your money to any movie Tom Cruise is in, is giving your money to an oppressive sadistic cult.
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Old 10th July 2018, 10:06 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
That is nonsense. Itís like saying doctors should be cast to play the part of doctors, or Catholics should play the role of Catholics, or anything else you can think of.
Rubbish. It's not like that at all. Doctors and Catholics have not had to endure hatred, ridicule, assault and murder just for being who they are. They have not had to fight tooth and nail have their place in society even recognised as existing.

If you want a vaguely appropriate analogy (though it still isn't, really), how about casting Australian actors when the character is Australian, rather than getting an American actor to put on a frankly awful attempt at an Australian accent?

A trans actor has experience with being trans. Sure, you can coach a cis actor to act like a gender that they're not, but why would you need to? Like an American putting on an Australian accent, they're rarely convincing to someone who knows what they're looking at. Only those ignorant of what an Australian accent actually sounds like are fooled. And only those ignorant of a trans person's mannerisms and experiences will be fooled. I'm sure there are non-Australian actors who can put on a convincing Australian accent (though I've not heard any) and I'm sure there are cis actors who can convincingly act trans. But why should they do that, when there are Australian and trans actors ready to take the parts?

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
No. The best actor for the role should be cast. Itís ACTING, for ***** sake. The entire point is to pretend to be something you are not. Itís easier if you physically resemble the roll, but guess what? A woman is physically identical to a trans man who hasnít had any surgery or hormone treatments.
And what about all the hard-working trans actors who are very compatible for the role who don't get it because it's been given to a cis actor? It's like they're invisible - and that's the problem. Trans people have been pushed aside, marginalised, and the rest of society prefers to pretend they don't exist. Cast trans actors in trans parts, and maybe we can start to change that.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Arth, I accept that transsexuality does not depend on surgery or hormones. I regret that the terminology or form of my argument has caused a misunderstanding on this point.

I hope this statement has cleared up the misunderstanding, and that our discussion can resume.
I accept your apology.
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Old 10th July 2018, 10:08 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Lambchops View Post
The Scientology thing makes me gag.

Giving your money to any movie Tom Cruise is in, is giving your money to an oppressive sadistic cult.
The profits from Cruise's movies do not go direct to the Church of Scientology. They take some of his personal money, but surely it's his prerogative to give his money where he wishes?
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Old 10th July 2018, 10:09 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
As a huge fan of the books, I think Tom Cruise makes a damn fine Jack Reacher on the big screen.
Really?

Each to their own

As well as the size thing I thought he had no presence, if you know what I mean
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Old 10th July 2018, 10:16 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I accept your apology.
That's nice, but you weren't asking for my apology. You were asking for my agreement. Which I also gave.

Will you accept my agreement? Will you resume the discussion that you conditioned on that agreement?
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Old 10th July 2018, 10:19 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That's nice, but you weren't asking for my apology. You were asking for my agreement. Which I also gave.

Will you accept my agreement? Will you resume the discussion that you conditioned on that agreement?
Of course. But your original argument was based on your misconception that being trans required medical or surgical intervention. Now that you have agreed that that is not the case, I assume you will wish to make a different argument, which I now invite you to do.
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Old 10th July 2018, 10:48 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Rubbish. It's not like that at all. Doctors and Catholics have not had to endure hatred, ridicule, assault and murder just for being who they are. They have not had to fight tooth and nail have their place in society even recognised as existing.

If you want a vaguely appropriate analogy (though it still isn't, really), how about casting Australian actors when the character is Australian, rather than getting an American actor to put on a frankly awful attempt at an Australian accent?

A trans actor has experience with being trans. Sure, you can coach a cis actor to act like a gender that they're not, but why would you need to? Like an American putting on an Australian accent, they're rarely convincing to someone who knows what they're looking at. Only those ignorant of what an Australian accent actually sounds like are fooled. And only those ignorant of a trans person's mannerisms and experiences will be fooled. I'm sure there are non-Australian actors who can put on a convincing Australian accent (though I've not heard any) and I'm sure there are cis actors who can convincingly act trans. But why should they do that, when there are Australian and trans actors ready to take the parts?

And what about all the hard-working trans actors who are very compatible for the role who don't get it because it's been given to a cis actor? It's like they're invisible - and that's the problem. Trans people have been pushed aside, marginalised, and the rest of society prefers to pretend they don't exist. Cast trans actors in trans parts, and maybe we can start to change that.

I accept your apology.
That's incredibly ignorant of history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Catholicism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-C...United_Kingdom
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Old 10th July 2018, 11:03 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by ThatGuy11200 View Post
Okay, yes, granted, religious wars have existed. Do you seriously think that Catholics have been as marginalised as trans people? When was the last time trans people were capable of fighting a Hundred Years War?
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Old 10th July 2018, 11:13 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
. Do you seriously think that Catholics have been as marginalised as trans people?
In certain countries, absolutely. Have a look at Ireland......oh I see Thatguy11200 posted a link. It was horrendous, murderous treatment for hundreds of years.

But veering off topic.
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Old 10th July 2018, 11:19 PM   #38
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This is the problem when people claiming special attention because of their past victimhood is worse than eg "insert group"

In the vast length of history most groups of people have been victimised.
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Old 10th July 2018, 11:31 PM   #39
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Regardless, that's not the point. The point is that there are trans actors available to play trans parts, and they are being pushed aside in favour of cis actors. Now, I'm sure that Ms Johansson is going to be excellent in this role. She usually is. But did they even consider giving the role to a trans actor? Or did they just want the big-name draw?
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Old 10th July 2018, 11:54 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Regardless, that's not the point. The point is that there are trans actors available to play trans parts, and they are being pushed aside in favour of cis actors. Now, I'm sure that Ms Johansson is going to be excellent in this role. She usually is. But did they even consider giving the role to a trans actor? Or did they just want the big-name draw?
Name some

Some that would make it not make a humongous loss rather than a slightly embarrassing loss that it probably will with her
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