“Charmed” Just Announced Its First Transgender Character and Fans Are Excited
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The reboot of “Charmed” continues to make strides with representation on screen. The hit CW show which centers on three Latina witch sisters has consistently gone out of its way to showcase actors and characters of diverse backgrounds. And now, on the eve of Transgender Awareness week, the fantasy series is introducing its first transgender character.
According to Deadline, transgender actor J.J. Hawkins will be joining the series’ third season.
Hawkins will be playing a character named Kevin, a trans college student who “inspires one of the Charmed Ones to take on a very formidable opponent.” This casting announcement is significant because it shows that the “Charmed” team is taking calls for informed casting to heart. Not only is “Charmed” writing in a trans character, but the show took pains to hire a transgender actor as well–a casting choice that is, sadly, still rare in Hollywood.
In interviews, “Charmed” executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman (who also created “Jane the Virgin”), has talked about how important bringing diversity to the “Charmed” reboot is.
“We’ve had the chance to see three white witches [in the original],” Urman told a group of TV critics in 2018. “And obviously coming off ‘Jane,’ I know so much more about what it means to be on screen, to see yourself represented, to see yourself being the hero of the story.”
Urman also explained why the writers decided to make one of three sisters (Mel) queer as opposed to all three sisters being straight, like in the original series. “This should be a normal thing,” she said during the same discussion. “Just a relationship with two people loving each other.” It appears that the “Charmed” team is also taking the same approach with trans representation. Hopefully the writers will take steps to portray Hawkins’ character as a normal, well-rounded person with an interior life.
In the past, other Hollywood projects have come under scrutiny for casting cisgender actors to play trans characters.
The most famous example of this was when Scarlett Johansson announced that she would be playing a famous trans man named Dante “Tex” Gill in an upcoming biopic on Gill’s life. While Johansson experienced massive blowback for this, she initially doubled down on her decision before stepping back from the film. But still, Hollywood continues to make the same mistake.
Very recently, Halle Berry also made headlines when she told her Instagram followers she was researching an upcoming role where she would be playing a trans man. To make matters worse, Berry kept mis-gendering her character. Thankfully, Berry listened to both her fans and trans activists and withdrew from the role, saying “the transgender community should undeniably have the opportunity to tell their own stories.”
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