For the second year in a row, Jeffrey Tambor took home an Emmy for his portrayal of Maura Pfefferman, the transgender matriarch of the dysfunctional Pfefferman clan on Transparent.
Though Tambor has been widely praised for his powerful performance of Maura, he's also faced criticism for playing a transgender woman as a cisgender male. Rather than ignore that feedback, as other actors in his position have, Tambor decided to give it voice in his impassioned acceptance speech.
"I'm not going to say this beautifully," he began, "but to you people out there—you producers, you network owners, you agents and you creative sparks—please give transgender talent a chance...give them their stories."
"I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a female transgender character on TV," he concluded.
Tambor is just the latest in a long string of cisgender actors to receive critical acclaim for their portrayals of trans women, including Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club and Eddie Redmayne in the The Danish Girl.
Most recently, Mark Ruffalo has been taken to task for casting Matt Bomer as the lead in his upcoming film, Anything, which centers on the experiences of a transgender prostitute.
When it was announced that Bomer, an openly gay man, would be playing a trans female character, activists were quick to speak out against the offensive and problematic choice.
As GLAAD's Nick Adams wrote: “If you are more concerned with the bottom line or with star power or with how your product will sell overseas, then don’t write transgender characters into your projects. We would rather be left out than be constantly portrayed as something we’re not.”
h/t: Washington Post