Unless you have a grand distaste for television and awards shows, you’ve probably seen that Jeffrey Tambor picked up an award for Best Actor last night for his role as “Maura” on the now Golden Globe-winning series, Transparent. Despite Transparent‘s message of trans-sensitivity, the day following the win has been rife with both praise and derision from critics, one of which came from controversial New York Times television writer, Alessandra Stanley.
The central struggle of Transparent, for both Jeffrey’s character, as well as the members of his family, is the acceptance and understanding of when someone close to you comes out as transgender. Tambor, who plays transgender woman “Maura,” gets everything from shock to disbelief at his revelation on Transparent; but that’s not something you’d expect to see from a world of television critics known for being progressive. That is unless you’re the The New York Times, armed with long-time TV critic Alessandra who recently came under fire for referring to Shonda Rhimes as an “angry, black woman” and insinuating that Viola Davis was less traditionally beautiful because of her dark skin tone.
This time, Stanley is being attacked for referring to Jeffrey’s character on the show as a “transgender man,” something that critics of the New York Times piece are shocked at considering that Alessandra has clearly watched Transparent before. Additionally, Stanley suggested that the win was more attributed to political correctness than to Tambor’s talent. Slate critic J. Bryan Lowder was one of the first call out the New York Times piece.
“Being generous, we might interpret [the New York Times piece] to mean that Transparent‘s content represents a triumph of free speech against, I guess, religious fundamentalism. But then why the snide-seeming “politically correct,” and why the implication that queer free speech is not as courageous as other sorts? I well understand that these kinds of awards show recaps are often written late at night under hurried conditions, but this phrasing has the effect of suggesting that Stanley sees Transparent‘s well-deserved win as perfunctory at best and politically—rather than artistically—motivated at worst.”
Although the New York Times has since altered the original language of Alessandra’s article, it is interesting to note that they did not change “transgender man” to “transgender woman” but rather to “transgender parent.” Though it’s likely that we haven’t heard the last about the misgendering of Jeffrey Tambor’s Transparent character. New York Times published a lengthy investigation into Stanley’s comments on Rhimes and Davis in order to explain the TV critic’s last inflammatory remarks.
[Image via Amazon Prime]