‘Would it have killed them to hire an actual trans woman?’ Fans slam Netflix’s Money Heist for casting cis actress in trans role
Netflix’s Money Heist is coming under fire for casting a cisgender actress to play a transgender character.
But many fans were left frustrated and confused when the character Manila was revealed to be trans. The revelation makes her the first trans character in the show – but she is played by a cis woman.
Some fans took to Twitter to question the decision to cast Belen Cuesta as a trans woman in Money Heist.
Money Heist fans wondered why they didn’t cast a trans actor to play Manila.
One Twitter user asked producers why they decided to go with a cis woman for the role.
Okay, so is Belen Cuesta (Manila) in Money Heist is apparently a cisgender woman playing a transgender role. Now the question is… WHY NOT CAST A TRANS PERSON FOR A TRANS ROLE?
— c (@christapata) April 4, 2020
Another said they loved the show, but pointed out that trans actors already receive little recognition for the work they do.
❗ SPOILER ALERT ❗
I LOVE Money Heist, but with the little recognition and visibility trans actors have, would it have killed the producers of the show to hire an actual trans woman to play Manila instead of having a cisgendered woman play her? Kadaghan trans actors unta.
— mj (@mjd3lacruz) April 7, 2020
Is the person who plays Manila from Money Heist really a trans woman? Bc I'd be disappointed if they used a biological female.
— Caitlin ? (@wALANAnana) April 5, 2020
everybody seems so excited about manila in money heist being a new character so im just gonna go ahead and say it:
trans characters should be played by trans actors and actresses!!
— Pat Soria (@exmpious) April 6, 2020
The show also received some praise from Twitter users for representing LGBT+ identities, but plenty of people were quick to criticise the casting decision.
Cuesta has defended her casting in the show and said that she supports trans actors, but said she thinks she should be allowed to play trans characters.
‘A cisgender actress can play a transgender woman or a transgender woman can play a cisgender woman.’
“I understand the struggle of the groups of trans actors and actresses. Also, I support them very much,” Cuesta told El Español.
She added: “A cisgender actress can play a transgender woman or a transgender woman can play a cisgender woman.”
This is not the first time such a controversy has erupted over the casting of a cis actor to play a trans role. Scarlett Johansson faced a media storm in 2018 when she was cast as a trans man in Rub and Tug.
She later stepped down from the role and admitted in an interview last year with Vanity Fair that she “mishandled” the situation.
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Just last month, a musical adaptation of Breakfast On Pluto came under fire when cis actor Fra Fee was cast in the role of a trans woman.
The casting was widely condemned by trans and non-binary people, with many calling out the company for failing to cast a trans actor.