Page will reprise the role of the cis female Vanya Hargreeves in Netflix’s comic book show ‘Umbrella Academy.’ The series’ producers have no plans to change the character’s gender, Variety reports.
The ‘X-Men’ star came out on Tuesday, and seems to have been fully embraced by fellow celebrities, who immediately offered messages of support.
Yet, fans and social media commenters were left confused by the star’s and the streaming company’s decision for Page to play a character of a different gender – particularly a non-trans one. Many Twitter users were reminded of actresses like Scarlett Johanson and Halle Berry having to turn down roles of trans women, following ‘woke’ outcries after casting decisions.
“It’s offensive for Scarlet Johansson to play a trans woman so she quit. I’m betting the rule won’t apply now,” one person tweeted. “Should the role of a woman be played by a woman and not a man?” another one pondered.
“The woke have boxed themselves into a corner: according to their gospel, Page can now only play a female who is trans,” pointed out one commenter.
Should the role of a woman be played by a woman and not a man?
— Mr Sitter. Proud Leaver (@drewyhtc) December 3, 2020
Serious question.. people went after Scarlet Jo for playing a trans man as a biological woman. Why do the same people feel it’s ok for Elliot Page, a trans person, to play a woman on the Netflix show they’re on.
— Arielle Scarcella (@ArielleScarcell) December 3, 2020
So female Ellen Page has now become male Elliot Page. I assume she won’t be playing Vanya the female character in Umbrella Academy anymore?
That’s the rule isn’t it? It’s offensive for Scarlet Johansson to play a trans woman so she quit. I’m betting the rule won’t apply now
— Croucher Tiger (@croucher_tiger) December 3, 2020
The woke have boxed themselves into a corner: according to their gospel, Page can now only play a female who is trans. Page has effectively become unemployable.
— Susi #IStandwithJKRowling #BuyBooksFromABookshop (@Buchstansanger) December 2, 2020
Others, however, saw it as a step in the right direction, to where actors will be able to play “all kinds of roles without it being a scandal.”
Just read Elliot Page will continue playing Vanya in Umbrella Academy as a woman and am low-key hoping we start to see more and more actors playing all kinds of roles without it being a thing. A bit like Quantum Leap but without that being the hook.
— Dan Brandon (@angloconvoy) December 3, 2020
We should go after neither Scarlet Jo nor Ellen Page. Both should be able to play parts for which they meet all the physical criteria and skills
— TransSensical (@TransSensical) December 3, 2020
Then there were those who thought nothing of the whole saga, saying that the appropriateness of Page’s and Netflix’s decision was for them to decide, not viewers.
If Elliot Page wants to continue his role in The Umbrella Academy and Netflix is fine with it, we should respect their decision
— Kalind Patel (@NYCKNP) December 2, 2020
GLADD, the LGBT media monitoring organization, said that trans actors “can and do play both trans and cisgender characters,” while Variety reported that Page’s character will remain female on the show.
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