Jeffrey Tambor, the Transparent star who won an Emmy on Sunday night for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, had an important message for Hollywood. As his acceptance speech came to an end and the band’s music began to play him off the stage, Tambor told Hollywood’s power players to start considering enlisting transgender actors in their productions.
Tambor said: “To you people out there, you producers and you network owners and you agents and you creative sparks, please give transgender talent a chance. Give them auditions. Give them their story. Do that. And, also, one more thing, I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a female transgender [woman] on television. We have work to do.”
It’s a complicated issue for sure, and there have been some great cis-actors who have played transgender characters admirably in recent years (Jared Leto, to name just one); however, Tambor’s call for greater transgender representation in Hollywood is an important message, one that should not fall on deaf ears. And while it is not the first time we’ve heard this call for greater transgender roles in television and film, Tambor’s speech may just be the tipping point.
Setting aside the issue for a moment, we did want to congratulate Tambor for his win and his contributions to a show that has brought the very concept of being transgender into the homes of so many people who would be unaware and uneducated otherwise.
You can watch his beautiful speech below: