15 Transgender Characters Portrayed by Cisgender Actors in Movies

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Cisgender actors playing transgender characters has become one of the most hotly debated topics in Hollywood. Just last month, it was announced that Scarlett Johansson would play the infamous transgender gangster Dante “Tex” Gill in the upcoming film Rub & Tug. After intense backlash and a cringe-worthy response from ScarJo, she ultimately changed her mind and decided to remove herself from the project.

In a statement released to Out, she said, “Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive. I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues.”

“While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film.”

Her decision to back out of the movie was a huge win for the trans community. Assuming that the filmmakers cast an actual trans person as her replacement, it will represent a major shift in the film world. For decades, cisgender actors have been playing transgender characters. It might not seem like a big deal to some, but it takes away opportunities for trans actors, and the portrayals often come off inaccurate and insensitive. Considering how hard it is for trans actors to get roles of any sort, casting a cisgender person to portray their life experience can feel like a slap in the face.

Although Hollywood finally seems to be changing their ways, trans people playing trans characters appears to be a new phenomenon. Keep scrolling to see 15 transgender movie characters who were played by cisgender actors.