Dustin Lance Black called out Hollywood producers who say ‘good’ trans actors don’t exist
Dustin Lance Black has called “bulls*t” on Hollywood producers who say it is difficult to find “good” transgender actors.
The When We Rise and Milk writer took fire at top producers who are failing to hire trans actors, specifically those who don’t use trans actors in trans roles.
“The big surprise is, it was not hard to find amazing trans actors and actresses to play these parts,” Black told PrideSource.
“What was difficult was deciding who to cast because so many great tapes came in. So, I call bullshit on Hollywood if they say it’s difficult. And if they think it’s difficult, then they should call our casting directors because they found unbelievable trans actors and actresses, and it was actually tough to decide who to cast.”
The Oscar winning screenwriter makes sure to emphasis that straight or cisgender actors shouldn’t be ruled out entirely, but they shouldn’t be the first choice especially now that it is easier to come across out actors.
“First and foremost, when I’m casting any role, I’m gonna look for somebody who can bring a part of their experience to the role, he explained. “They still have to be a great actor, so if I can’t find anyone in the world who shares some experience that they’re about to portray in this character, who’s also a good actor, then I’ll happily go for someone else.”
“Years ago, it was difficult to find openly gay actors to play openly gay roles – that was difficult,” Black recalls.
Black, who recently penned a drama series focusing on the LGBT rights movement, When We Rise, went on to recall the challenge he faced getting LGBT actors for Milk.
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“When we were doing Milk, that’s what we said we wanted to do, and the studio gave us full permission to do that. So, we called agents and manager friends and they all said they didn’t have any gay actors or actresses, which is funny since I knew some of their clients were gay!
“It was very frustrating, but thankfully that’s begun to change as well, particularly in this young generation of actors and actress who, in one way or another, have come out on social media when they were kids and there’s no putting them back in the closet in today’s social-media age,” he added.
Black has recently made a point of calling on people in the public eye to be open about their gender and sexual identity.
He also urged more sports stars to come out of the closet and promote diversity in athletics.
Ivory Aquino, who starred in Black’s ‘When We Rise’ recently came out as transgender after being inspired by some of Black’s comments about the need for discussion on diversity.