Elle Fanning Under Fire for Playing a Transgender Teen in Much-Panned Movie

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By Heat Street Staff | 9:34 am, April 10, 2017

Upcoming movie 3 Generations could do with catching a break. The movie- starring Elle Fanning as a transgender teen boy- was yanked just days from release in 2015 after an underwhelming reception at the Toronto Film Festival.

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose outfit The Weinstein Company reportedly paid $6 million for the rights to release the movie, is appealing over its R rating, having changed its title from About Ray.

The movie, which also stars Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon has reportedly been re-edited by director Gaby Dellal following its lukewarm premiere.

Now 3 Generations is the recipient of a backlash against Fanning over “transface”, the practice of non-transgender actors playing trans characters. Social media keyboard warriors, doubtless possessing an imperfect understanding of how the movie business works, are still furious the role is not being played by a transgender actor:

It’s sending out the wrong societal message, some argue on Twitter; others think Fanning’s casting is bizarrely harming the movie’s commercial potential.

If the movie flops, when it’s finally released in May, it won’t be primarily because Fanning is playing the lead role instead of a transgender actor. But it will be interesting to see if Hollywood prominent cisgender celebs continue to get cast in trans parts following the backlash against 3 Generations and The Danish Girl starring Eddie Redmayne.

Whatever the fate of the movie, this is free coverage that even Weinstein, a veteran master of publicity in the entertainment business, probably won’t appreciate.