When news broke that cisgender actor Matt Bomer would play a transgender sex worker in an upcoming film, many were outraged. Yet again, what could have been a career-making role for an unknown trans actress had gone to a household-adjacent cis name.
Others, like writer and actress Jen Richards, expressed concern that casting like this reinforces the idea that trans women are "really men," a harmful misunderstanding that has the potential to cause violence against trans women.
Now, Mark Ruffalo, one of the project's co-executive producers, has address the controversial, and arguably harmful, decision.
When asked about the possibility of recasting the role with an actress who is trans, Ruffalo responded that the movie, titled Anything—an adaptation of the Timothy McNeil play by the same name—had already been shot. "Matt poured his heart and soul into this part," he added. "Please have a little compassion. We are all learning."
For background on why Hollywood's ongoing problem with casting cis men as trans women onscreen is often a pretty bad idea, read this roundup of explanations gathered from past interviews with Laverne Cox, Mya Taylor, Hari Nef, and more actresses who are trans.
Bad at filling out bios seeks same.