“Transparent” is basically the most Jewish show on TV right now–and one grabbing a whole lot of awards. The series, which will premiere its third season this Friday, follows a trans woman’s relationship with her family after her gender transition. The show’s (Jewish) creator Jill Soloway won the 2016 Emmy award for Best Directing for a Comedy Series at the 68th annual Emmys this Sunday.
What Soloway said in her acceptance speech, however, is way more important and interesting than just winning the award:
“This TV show allows me to take my dreams about unlikable Jewish folk, queer folk, trans folk, and make them the heroes. Thank you to the trans community for your lives, we need to stop violence against trans women.”
The 50-year-old concluded her speech with, “And topple the patriarchy!”
Soloway also touched upon what it’s like being a working mom–and how being a director is the easier part (than you know, the mom part):
“I tell them ‘No, life is very hard!’ Being a good partner, being a good mother, being a good person is hard,” she shared. “Being a director is so f—— easy! I get to just make my dreams come true. It’s a privilege and it also creates privilege when you take women, people of color, trans people, queer people and you put them at the center of the story, the object instead of the subject, you change the world, we found out.”
As if that’s not enough, Jeffrey Tambor gave a killer speech when he accepted the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Maura, the lead character in the show. He began the speech like everyone does–thanking those around him–but then he went in another direction, and said:
“I’m not going to say this beautifully: to you people out there… please give transgender talent a chance. Give them auditions. Give them their story.
One last thing: I would be happy if I were the last cisgender male to play a transgender female.”
Those statements are chilling–in the best way possible. They are so true and so necessary to hear. Backstage, he went on to say:
“I think we are there now and I think the powers that be and the creators and the writers need to tell these stories and hire these people.”
Soloway also joined in, stating:
“It would be one thing if trans people had been telling their stories for a hundred years, but they haven’t even gotten the chance. So when [cisgender] male producers are taking the narrative, rather than letting them tell their own stories, it’s a real problem. It’s time to hand out the keys to the kingdom, open the gates, and let more people into these roles of writer, director, producer, protagonist.”
Tambor’s call to action needs to be done in all communities and places of work–not just acting–but in modeling, writing, art, healthcare, education, law, etc. We need to create a more inclusive space for everyone in all facets of our lives.