Transparent Creator Jill Soloway Calls Out Hollywood On “Perpetuating Male Privilege Through Protagonism”

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Transparent has been the subject of much debate about trans representation and erasure (The Mary Sue’s Marcy Cook wrote earlier this year, “Transparent has made so many mistakes that it’s clear they are not deserving of the plaudits and awards they’ve received, and they are certainly not deserving of trust from the trans community”).

But despite the series’ failings, Transparent‘s primarily female directorial team differentiates the show from typical dude-dominated Hollywood fare. Transparent is also one of only three series for which a woman is nominated in the top writer-director categories at this year’s Emmys. (Male creators, by contrast, have a robust 20 nominations in that field.)

Speaking to Variety, series creator Jill Soloway called on men in Hollywood to wield their power responsibly and help female creators get their due:

I think, as the ACLU is investigating the illegality of keeping women from directing positions, male creators, showrunners, producers and directors have to really face the immorality, their own immorality, of hiring their friends, of telling male stories, of perpetuating male privilege through protagonism. So that means the male gaze — men as subject, women as object — is business as usual for men to be able to keep telling their stories from their point of view. (They need to) really offer women the chance to write, to direct, and then to empower them once they are writing and directing, and say, ‘tell your story, tell your story!’

[…] I really applaud Judd Apatow for, over the past few years, using his privilege to give access to people like Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer. Paul Feig is doing the same thing, helping the all-female Ghostbusters get made. They should be examples to other men who have power and give access to female creators that they admire.

Soloway’s take on male privilege in media is spot-on, and cisgender privilege is no different. As Hollywood’s gender divide continues to get the scrutiny it deserves, cis creators should also prioritize “giving access” to the trans writers and directors that they admire.

What do you think of Soloway’s comments, friends? Are you a Transparent fan?

(image via Shutterstock)

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