Universal Pictures International has dropped the Spanish, Italian and German voice actors of transgender actress Laverne Cox for being “cisgender men.”
In a statement released last week, Universal Pictures International said they are “deeply grateful to Laverne Cox and the transgender community for opening our eyes to a bias that neither we, nor many in our industry, had recognized.”
The problem referred to is that in the film A Promising Young Woman the character played by Laverne Cox (a transgender person) is dubbed into Spanish, Italian and German by three voice actors who are “cisgender” men.
For those who are not fluent in the new woke language, the term cisgender is a neologism that defines individuals whose gender identity matches their sexual phenotype, differentiating them, by the opposition, from transgender individuals. That is, anyone who is not transgender is now referred to as cisgender.
Laverne Cox, who was born a man, and is now a transgender woman, rose to fame with the series Orange Is the New Black, in which she played an inmate convicted of stealing credit cards to pay for her sex-change operation. In the Oscar-winning film “A Promising Young Woman,” Laverne Cox plays Gail, the boss and friend of a young woman who seeks revenge on all the men who have hurt her throughout her life.
To make it sound as close as possible to the original, Laverne Cox was always dubbed by men putting a woman’s voice; except in the Italian version of the documentary Amend: The Fight for America, in which she was dubbed by dubbing actress Vittoria Schisano (also transsexual).
“While there was no malicious intent behind this error, we are working diligently to fix it,” Universal said in its statement.
It was precisely Vittoria Schisano’s complaints that sparked the current controversy. Speaking to the British newspaper The Guardian, Schisano criticized the fact that dubbing actor Roberto Pedicini had been chosen instead of her to be the voice of Laverne Cox in the Italian dubbed version of “A Promising Young Woman.”
According to Schisano, she is the only transgender voice actress in Italy, and called the dubbing by a cisgender man “directly an act of violence.” Following these statements, transgender activists started a campaign of harassment on social networks, which has led Universal Pictures International to withdraw the dubbing actors in Italy, Spain, and Germany, who will be replaced by women, although we do not yet know if they will be cisgender or transgender.
“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,” Universal said in its statement.