Laverne Cox has admitted that when she joined the cast of the new Rocky Horror Picture Show remake as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, she had just one reservation: singing the word ‘transvestite’.
“That was the only apprehension I really had about doing the film was the term transvestite,” she told reporters at Variety’s Power of Women Luncheon.
“I’ve been telling people, ‘Please do not go up to a transgender person in 2016 and call them a transvestite, that is an antiquated term.’ But in 1975 when Rocky Horror Picture Show came out transvestite meant a very different thing.”
The word crops up in one of the musical’s most iconic songs, ‘Sweet Transvestite’, and Cox explained that despite her discomfort, she felt the song was too important to change.
“We don’t use that term anymore, but in the historical context of Rocky Horror it’s appropriate you don’t change the words to an iconic song,” she continued.
“People can be very… challenging and critical, but I put everything I had into this.
“I gave 250 percent, and I hope people like what we came up with.”
The new TV remake airs on Fox in the US on October 20th, and on Sky Cinema in the UK on October 28th.
Fox recently released the first five minutes as a teaser, and they were surprisingly not awful.
You can listen to Cox’s rendition of ‘Sweet Transvestite’ for yourself below: