Film and TV

Moxie star Josie Totah explains for the last time why we need to ‘stop awarding white cis straight men for acting trans’

Maggie Baska March 3, 2021
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Josie Totah GLAAD

Josie Totah attended the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on 28 March 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/FilmMagic)

Moxie and Saved by the Bell‘s reboot star Josie Totah says it’s high time that Hollywood fixed its LGBT+ representation problem, and the easiest way is to employ more trans people.

In an interview with Huffington Post, Totah shared how she hoped that her role in the upcoming movie Moxie would help “normalise” transgender people, rather than making their transness the focus of the story. She said the movie “acknowledged” CJ, her character, is trans, but “it’s seen as something that is part of our world”.

Totah, who transitioned in 2018, said she hoped to see “more trans projects” in her lifetime, “which are not always associated with trans trauma and that experience.” She explained: “Of course, it is so important to depict the struggle and the incredible strength that trans people have on this earth because listen, honey, we’ve been through it, but also it’s just as equally important to show trans people in everyday lives.

“I would love to see a 30 Rock starring a trans woman who just happens to be trans.”

But she said the critical way to do this is to employ more trans people in Hollywood. Josie Totah said: “The only way we’re going to be able to move forward, not only as an industry but as a society, is by accurate representation.

“And we need to stop awarding white cis straight men for putting on a wig and makeup and acting trans.”

She said it is “extremely imperative” that “trans people get to play trans roles”, and “cis people should take a step back”.

Totah said she felt her character in Moxie “wasn’t just transgender to be a diversity character”. Instead, she argued CJ’s identity “contributed to the arc of the overall film”, which focuses on a group of girls who are “suppressed and oppressed by these men that were upholding a patriarchal structure against them”.

Josie Totah hoped as a producer, writer and actor she can push the agenda towards inclusion with a “mixture of telling my own stories but also allowing others and giving them a platform”.

Related topics: cis, josie totah, Saved by the Bell, Trans

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