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As the trailer for Matt Bomer’s upcoming drama Anything hits the web, transgender women are wishing for anything but.
Troubled by his portrayal of a trans woman sex worker, activists wish a trans woman was given the role over Bomer, who is a cisgender man.
Responses first started pouring in after a clip for the film was released earlier this week, in which Bomer’s character, Freda, meets a man named Early Landry in his Hollywood apartment building. Trans women quickly began criticizing the film, noting how Freda acts and sounds more like a drag performance than a transgender woman.
“This is such a cliche. He looks like a drag queen,” one transgender woman said on the clip’s YouTube page. “I am nothing like this and what is he doing with his arms? The voice is terrible and what the hell is that ‘I like things deep’ line about. Shame on all those involved with this utter nonsense.”
Responses were strong on Twitter, with many criticizing the movie’s writing and casting directions. Some trans women even called Bomer’s portrayal “dangerous” to trans people, noting how his casting implies that transgender women are actually men.
Matt Bomer's complete lack of being trans really adds something to the role. Specifically it adds a heaping pile of bullshit.— Mags @ AwesomeCon! (@MagsVisaggs) June 14, 2017
Were no trans women available for the film orrrr...?— Meg Fenway (@megfenway) June 14, 2017
Producers think trans women should look like cross-dressing men.— Vandy Beth Glenn (@RedVelvetCakes) June 14, 2017
Others turned their blame away from Bomer and onto the casting director and producers for bringing him on.
The whole point is for Hollywood to stop considering cis men for roles of women. Not to attack an actor. That's missing the point.— Brandy (@waterspot_) June 15, 2017
Because we need to place blame in the higher ups. The actor is just that, acting.— Brandy (@waterspot_) June 15, 2017
Hollywood producer should know better.
Still, others found Bomer complicit for taking the role in the first place, saying that he should have rejected the position and advocated on behalf of trans actresses looking to play Freda.
Just a thought: perhaps if all cis actors had refused to take the part and said a transwoman should play the role, producers "might" listen?— Dāya Shadowfax (@DayaShadowfax) June 15, 2017
This isn’t the first time that Anything has faced social media backlash from the trans community. When Bomer’s casting was announced in 2016, the trans community turned to Twitter to criticize the project, calling on executive producer Mark Ruffalo to recast the role to a transgender woman. Ruffalo denied the request, confirming that Anything was already shot. He instead asked viewers to “have a little compassion” for the team.
The movie is already shot and Matt poured his heart and soul into this part. Please have a little compassion. We are all learning.— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) August 31, 2016
“The movie is already shot and Matt poured his heart and soul into this part. Please have a little compassion. We are all learning,” Ruffalo said on Twitter.
Ruffalo has not responded to the criticisms of the new clip as of publication time.
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.