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Blanchett’s remarks spark outrage in LGBT community

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Blanchett’s remarks spark outrage in LGBT community

Blanchett has played LGBT roles in the past despite being heterosexual.

Blanchett has played LGBT roles in the past despite being heterosexual.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Blanchett has played LGBT roles in the past despite being heterosexual.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Blanchett has played LGBT roles in the past despite being heterosexual.

Julissa Lira

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For years, LGBT roles have been taken over by cisgender and heterosexual actors. For example, Cate Blanchett played as a lesbian in the 2015 film “Carol.” Just recently, Scarlett Johansson almost took on a role as a trans man character. However, after receiving backlash from the trans community, Johansson rejected the role.

Recently, Blanchett came to the defense of straight actors who have taken on LGBT roles and stated, , “I will fight to the death for the right to suspend disbelief and play roles beyond my experience.Despite the backlash that straight actors face on taking LGBT roles, Blanchett sees nothing wrong with this practice.

This issue goes beyond acting. Instead of seeing LGBT roles as “roles beyond [your experience],” Blanchett should see the importance of representation in the media.

Some may ask why is it important that LGBT actors take on LGBT roles? The answer is simply that representation matters.

Representation matters because it empowers the audience who can relate to the characters with similar backgrounds to them. When one sees an actor that has shared the same experiences as them, they feel included and accepted.

If you ask me, the LGBT community would want to be properly represented in the media. Actors that do not identify with the LGBT community cannot represent the community correctly and there could be a slight chance that they’ll be playing stereotypes as they act, which some in the community find offensive.

Another issue with LGBT representation in the media is that the characters tend to be stereotyped. Examples include the sassy gay best friend and the gay person who’s overly obsessed with fashion.

When LGBT characters are only acting out stereotypes, they can hurt the image of the LGBT community. When the LGBT community sees characters who are suppose to represent them act out stereotypes, it can make them feel as though they are reduced down to these stereotypes without any actual character development being made.

Which is why LGBT representation in the media is important. They deserve to be represented properly and without being defined and reduced to their sexual orientation.

Another positive that can come with proper LGBT representation is that the LGBT community will have role models. In the past, there wasn’t a lot of LGBT representation, which could be difficult for the youths since they had no one to look up to at them time.  

But now, there is more LGBT representation in media and proper representation can be good for the youth in the LGBT community because they can look up to actors who relate and share their same stories.

If LGBT youth see LGBT actors on screen, they would feel happy to see someone like them in media. So, how can one ask a straight person who never endured the challenges of the LGBT community to take on an acting role of a LGBT character? Cisgender, heterosexual actors cannot relate to the LGBT community’s experiences or struggles.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the most talented actor that this world can offer; if you’re not part of the LGBT community, you shouldn’t play as an LGBT character.

Hollywood, instead of giving roles to heterosexual, cisgender actors who never experienced the day of being part of the LGBT community; why don’t you give the LGBT community someone to be proud of, someone they can look up to and someone they can trust to represent them properly and proudly?

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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University
Blanchett’s remarks spark outrage in LGBT community