‘Tomboy, A Revenger’s Tale’: Michelle Rodriguez Film Triggers GLAAD Backlash

Makers of the film Tomboy, A Revenger’s Tale, starring Michelle Rodriguez as an assassin forced to undergo gender reassignment surgery, must have known there would be some backlash.

In Tomboy, the main character is a male assassin who draws the attention of some gangsters and finds himself in the custody of a rogue mad doctor, played by Sigourney Weaver. That doctor forcibly turns him into a woman, the character played by Michelle Rodriguez.

From there on out, the assassin played by Michelle Rodriguez goes out looking for revenge.

As of this moment, that’s really all that’s known of the film. However, gender reassignment surgery and the difficulties faced by trans people are things that have raised a lot of awareness lately. As a result, there are people put off by the central plot of this story line.

[Photo by (Araya Diaz)/Getty Images]

“We are at a crucial moment in the public’s understanding of transgender issues, and stories like these have the potential to undermine the progress we’ve worked so hard to achieve,” Nick Adams, a spokesperson for GLAAD, told the Hollywood Reporter.

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is an organization dedicated to the protection of the LGBT community. They are known for raising awareness and educating the public on issues involving the barriers still facing people who fall into the LGBT labels. The group is just as much about support as it is for awareness.

GLAAD coming out against Tomboy could be a factor that severely impacts the film. There’s just one problem. The organization is speaking out against the new Michelle Rodriguez thriller without having read the script.

“We haven’t read the script, but it’s disappointing to see film-makers turning what is a life-saving medical procedure for transgender people into a sensationalistic plot device.”

[Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images]

The conversation and awareness about trans issues have been gaining steam in pop culture, in no small way due to Caitlyn Jenner’s unveiling. Undoubtedly, GLAAD is a bit overprotective of the length in which the public has gone to accept transgendered and transsexual people.

GLAAD’s concern might be for nothing, though.

Tomboy hasn’t even started shooting yet. When it does, it will be about forced gender reassignment surgery, not chosen. There’s a significant difference, the same difference there is between rape and consensual sex.

It’s easy to wonder if the makers of Tomboy chose Michelle Rodriguez as their leading lady in order to help nip the controversy in the bud. Michelle Rodriguez is an open member of the LGBT community. Rodriguez has been very vocal about her bisexual preferences as well as her extremely picky quality where choosing roles is concerned.

Michelle Rodriguez, most known for the Fast and Furious series, spoke to NJ.com earlier in the year about how she chooses her roles.

[Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images]

“I can’t be the slut,” Michelle Rodriguez said. “I cannot be just the girlfriend. I can’t be the girl who gets empowered because she’s been raped. I can’t be the girl who gets empowered and then dies.”

Instead of settling for a role that will make her money, Michelle Rodriguez wants to carve out a niche for herself.

“I just said to myself, look, ‘You’re going to just have to create your own archetype, doesn’t matter if you go broke doing it,'” Michelle Rodriguez explained. “And I almost did go broke, twice! But people finally got it: ‘Okay, Michelle is not malleable, you’re not going to influence her by shining fame and money at her.'”

It’s arguable that if Tomboy was offensive to Michelle Rodriguez’s own community, that she wouldn’t have hesitated to turn the part down.

Tomboy, A Revenger’s Tale is set to start filming in Vancouver this November.

[Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images]

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