Court Has Dismissed Anti-Trans Assault Lawsuit Against Rosario Dawson
In the case of Dedrek Finley versus Rosario Dawson, the court issued a full dismissal of the charges against Dawson, but what that will ultimately mean remains to be seen.
Back in 2019, Dedrek Finley accused Dawson and her family of mistreatment and discrimination, “including physical assault and anti-trans insults such as deliberate misgendering.” Finley was also, apparently, a family friend, who was promised “full-time work and a nearby, rent-free place to live” by the family.
When Finley spoke to OUT magazine, he said that when he came out to the family with his new name and pronouns (he/him/his), they were unwelcoming to the change.
“With Isabel, it was like, ‘Are you sure?’” Finley says. “I was trying to be positive about it. I felt it just wasn’t celebrated at all. It felt flat. And it felt like a burden.”
In the months after coming out, Finley claims his gender was repeatedly denigrated and disregarded by family members. While working on the family’s property, he claims Rosario’s father would scream in his face saying “a man wouldn’t work like this” and “you only think you’re a man.”
Dawson spoke about the allegations in an interview with Vanity Fair following all the controversy around her being cast as Ahsoka in The Mandalorian and denied any accusation that she was transphobic to Finley.
“Well, firstly, I just want to say I understand that, and why people were concerned, and are concerned. I would be too if I heard some of those claims. But I mean, as we’re seeing right now in these past months, and just recently, actually, the truth is coming out. Every single claim of discrimination has been dismissed by the person who made them, and as you’ve said, the fact that this is coming from someone I’ve known since I was a teenager, the better part of my life, and who my family was trying to help as we have many times in the past, it really just makes me sad. But I still have a great empathy for him.”
This is going to be hard. For a lot of people.
Many things can be true at the same time: We will never know what happened in the details between Finley and Dawson. Finley is a trans man and therefore a marginalized person, and Dawson is an Afro-Latina woman and her family is also vulnerable. Money, race, and gender are all mixed up in this dynamic, which makes it hard. We want to believe victims, and the legal system is not always going to be a place for victims to get justice.
Yet what else do we have?
For people in the trans community, this doesn’t fix anything, and regardless, they lose. If Finley is lying or overstated harm, then that hurts all victims and has put a taint on Dawson’s reputation that will never likely go away. If Dawson did what she was accused of, then it highlights how her position has allowed her to escape justice. Everyone loses.
(via Vanity Fair, image: Disney)
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