Universal Pictures Has Been Unacceptably Using Cis-Male Actors to Dub Laverne Cox’s Voice

Including Europe's versions of 'Promising Young Woman.'

The release of Promising Young Woman has been pushed back in Italy, as it was discovered last week that Universal Pictures Italy had dubbed Laverne Cox‘s character with a man’s voice. Originally scheduled to premiere on May 13th, Una Donna Promettente used actor Roberto Pedicini in place of Cox. After the studio shared a teaser clip to social media on May 6th, an uproar broke out—and for good reason.

Following complaints from all angles, Universal Pictures International removed the clip from the internet and issued an apology to The Guardian that read, “We are deeply grateful to Laverne and the transgender community for opening our eyes to a bias that neither we nor many in our industry had recognised. While there was no malicious intent behind this mistake, we are working diligently to fix it. We have begun redubbing Ms Cox’s voice with female actors in our international territories and are pushing back release dates to ensure the correct version is available.”

Cox, who is probably *the* most well-known transgender star in Hollywood right now, plays the character of Gail in Emerald Fennell’s film, which no longer has a release date in Italy. The sad part is that the misgendered dubbing was part of the Spanish and German versions of the movie as well. Plus—it gets worse—Italy has been dubbing Cox’s characters with men’s voices for a while. The Guardian reported that Cox’s characters in Orange Is the New Black, The Mindy Project, and Doubt were all voiced by male actor Andrea Lavagnino.

The statement from Universal also added, “We are sorry for the pain caused but are thankful that we can address the situation on this film and prevent similar mistakes from happening again on future projects.”

Spain’s version of the film has already gone to theaters, but the studio shared that the movie will be re-dubbed before the home release. There’s no word on Germany’s re-dubbing efforts, but the movie is slated to come out there on June 10th. Italy does not yet have a new release date for the movie. For her part, Cox has not addressed this issue, though she did share a photo on May 14th for her podcast with a telling caption: “Oh how easily I forget. Bit today self compassion is the best thing I can practice.”

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