Cate Blanchett has had enough of identity politics. The star recently criticized the idea of straight actors being pushed out of performing as gay people in film and TV.
Earlier this year, Scarlett Johansson had to pull out of a movie due to backlash from the LGBTQ community. Scarlett was supposed to portray a transgender person. Subsequently, producers and the studio canceled the film.
As for Blanchett, she portrayed a lesbian back in 2015’s Carol. Cate said she would “fight to the death” for the rights of people to portray the character they please.
According to Blanchett, the idea that a performer has to have the same experiences as their character is not the correct way of looking at things, and it’s the wrong path for society to go down.
Dear #ScarlettJohansson, the way you can use your privilege as a white cis woman is to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities, not speak for them.
— Elise Bauman (@baumanelise) July 4, 2018
During the Question and Answer period at the Rome Film Festival, Cate said American society expects performers to have the same life as those who they’re portraying. During the summer months, Johansson appeared to agree but later backtracked on her comments.
When Scarlett addressed her haters on Twitter, she referenced other iconic actors, including Jeffrey Tambor, Felicity Huffman, and Jared Leto. Another star to play a trans-person was Hillary Swank, in her Academy Award-winning-role in Boy’s Don’t Cry.
One actor to point out unfairness in Hollywood was Sir Ian McKellen, who suggested that no gay person had ever won the Academy Award for Best Actor or Best Actress, for a role in which they played as a gay person.
Tom Hanks won an Academy Award for Best Actor for Philadelphia, and Sean Penn won for his movie, Milk. In total, approximately 52 heterosexual individuals have been nominated for playing gay characters, including Cate in Carol.