The Danish Girl actor, Eddie Redmayne, has recently sparked headlines calling his previous role as a trans woman a “mistake.”

The Danish Girl, a 2015 film, follows an artist preparing to undergo a gender-confirming surgery with the support of her wife. The artist, played by Redmayne, is a transgender character, played by a cisgender actor. This caused controversy among the LGBTQ community with many viewers stating that transgender roles should be exclusively played by transgender actors.

In the past, the film industry has used cisgender and white actors to play many different sexualities and races. Advocates point out that minorities often lack representation in media and deserve to have their characters played by people they can relate to.

Redmayne, an ally and advocate for the LGBTQ community, has stated that criticism is important for social progress and there have been “years of cisgender success on the back of trans stories.”

Redmayne was cast for the role due to his androgynous look. He realized earlier this year that the part should have been played by a transgender woman. Redmayne said that he played the part with the best intentions and even asked transgender women about their experiences in preparation for the role. 

This is not the first time gender and sexuality have been debated in the Hollywood scene. Actor Timothee Chalamet played a gay character in the Academy Award-winning 2017 movie, Call Me by Your Name. His role sparked criticism among fans who said that Chalamet should not have played a gay character given that he is straight.

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