Oh the perfidy! Mark Ruffalo, who is an actor, a director, a producer, and (according to Wikipedia) a “humanitarian and social activist,” just failed at several of those roles simultaneously.
Heat Street notes that Ruffalo is “under fire for producing a film in which a cisgendered actor has been cast as a transgender prostitute.” He came close, selecting a member of the LGBT community, but no cigar.
For his new film, “Anything,” Ruffalo cast Matt Bomer, who is gay, to play the part of a transgender hooker. And “The Ruffer” (as he is probably known to someone) is hearing from angry trannies everywhere, including one who tried out for the part:
I auditioned for this. I told them they shouldn't have a cis man play a trans woman. They didn't care. https://t.co/T7YFe6OeX9
— Jen Richards (@SmartAssJen) August 28, 2016
Why the hell is Matt Bomer playing a transgender woman?????
— Emma (@ToManyFeelings) August 30, 2016
One of his critics makes a curious claim about the possible repercussions of this move:
— Savannah Burton (@savannahvburton) August 28, 2016
So how contrite is Ruffalo over his insensitivity? Contrite enough that he tweeted back:
To the Trans community. I hear you. It's wrenching to you see you in this pain. I am glad we are having this conversation. It's time.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) August 31, 2016
Not so contrite, however, that he waited until he heard back from his peers before actually shooting the film with Bomer in the trans role.
Heat Street offers a sound rationale that Ruffalo might have fallen back on to assuage his critics. To loosely paraphrase, he could have said that a good actor can play any role and that by casting a good-looking star in this one, he was increasing the film’s box office. That, however, might have sounded a tad capitalistic for a liberal humanitarian and social activist.