‘Ozark’ Casting Call For Transgender Sex Worker Is Appallingly Offensive

· Updated on May 27, 2018

YesterdayThe Atlanta Constitution-Journalposted a casting call for Netflix’s hit series Ozark. The show, which stars Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, is “seeking transgender and more,” at leastaccording to the story’s headline.

In the article posted to the newspaper website on Wednesday, the casting call specifies they are casting a “transgender woman or a male comfortable portraying a female, age 18-30 and of any ethnicity. You’ll be soliciting clients at a truck stop. (Subject line: ‘TRANSGENDER’).”

In short, the casting company, Tammy Smith Casting, is seeking a trans woman or (yes, we still have to endure this!) a cis man “comfortable” portraying a woman who is also a sex worker. Stop me if you’ve heard thisone before.

The description doesn’t offer much hope for the script. Considering this is a Netflix show, it’s interesting they would allow for this kind of insulting writing and casting to continue. The trailblazing significance of Laverne Cox’s casting on Orange is the New Blackwhich made her the first openly trans person nominated for anEmmyis so quickly forgotten when transgender women are fodder for other shows on the same network.

This subject has been written about and discussed publicly too much for there to be any excuse any more. When cis men are cast as trans women, it contributes to a harmful perpetuation that trans women are men in wigs and makeup, and that kind of thinking is what manifests into the murders and violence against them.

Sadly, trans actors are offered so few options in Hollywood that these are the kinds of casting calls they receive more often than not. And in the past, these same roles have been given to cis men “comfortable” with “portraying a female.” Even the way that is phrased insinuates trans women are simply playing a role.

Everyone involved in this needs to do better: Netflix, Ozark, Tammy Smith Casting, and also The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who didn’t think twice about running such a ridiculous headline and offensive character description.

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