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Laverne Cox’s Promising Young Woman character dubbed over by male voice actor in Italian version

Patrick Kelleher May 12, 2021
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Laverne Cox as Gail in Promising Young Woman

Laverne Cox as Gail in Promising Young Woman. (MERIE WEISMILLER WALLACE / FOCUS FEATURES)

Universal Pictures has been forced to apologise after it hired a male voice actor to dub over Laverne Cox’s character in the Italian version of Promising Young Woman.

Emerald Fennell’s critically-acclaimed revenge thriller was due to be released in Italy on 13 May, but the date has been pushed back after it emerged that the dubbing for Cox’s character was done by male voice actor Roberto Pedicini.

There was widespread outrage in the country’s LGBT+ community when Universal Pictures released a clip of the Italian version of Promising Young Woman, titled Una Donna Promettente, which showed Cox’s character Gail speaking with a male voice. The studio later restricted access to the video as backlash intensified.

Italian trans actor Vittoria Schisano told The Guardian that the decision to cast Pedicini in the female role was a “straight-up act of violence”.

We are sorry for the pain caused but are thankful that we can address the situation on this film and prevent similar mistakes from happening again on future projects.

Schisano, who previously provided Italian dubbing for Cox on the Netflix documentary Amend: The Fight for America, said she wasn’t asked to read for Cox’s Promising Young Woman character, despite the fact that she knows of no other trans voice actors in Italy.

Studio ‘working diligently’ to reduce Laverne Cox character in Promising Young Woman

The controversy is not limited to Italy – cis men were also hired to dub over Cox’s character for the Spanish and German releases of the film. Universal Pictures International backtracked on those decisions following outcry from fans.

“We are deeply grateful to Laverne and the transgender community for opening our eyes to a bias that neither we nor many in our industry had recognised,” a spokesperson for Universal Pictures International told The Guardian.

The spokesperson said that there was “no malicious intent” behind the decision to cast cis men to voice Cox’s character in European releases of the film, and said they are now “working diligently” to fix the problem.

“We have begun redubbing Ms Cox’s voice with female actors in our international territories and are pushing back release dates to ensure the correct version is available.

“We are sorry for the pain caused but are thankful that we can address the situation on this film and prevent similar mistakes from happening again on future projects.”

 

Related topics: laverne cox, Promising Young Woman

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