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Universal Pictures apologises after Laverne Cox dubbed by male actor in Italian-language Promising Young Woman

·2-min read
Laverne Cox at the Center for Reproductive Rights benefit in February, 2020 (Getty Images for Center for Repr)
Laverne Cox at the Center for Reproductive Rights benefit in February, 2020 (Getty Images for Center for Repr)

The Italian-language version of Promising Young Woman has been heavily criticised for dubbing over trans actor Laverne Cox with a male voice.

Emerald Fennell’s critically acclaimed revenge thriller was scheduled to hit cinemas Italy on 13 May, but it has been postponed after a clip of “Una Donna Promettente” was shared by Universal Pictures Italy earlier this month.

In the video, Cox’s character, Gail, could be seen talking to Carey Mulligan’s Carrie. Cox’s voice was dubbed over with that of male voice actor Roberto Pedicini.

Viewers took to Twitter to voice their disgust.

“A cis man has been chosen to dub Laverne Cox in Italian. This can’t keep happening. Sick and tired. There must be something we can do,” tweeted one person.

Another wrote: “So in the Italian dub of promising young woman, Laverne Cox is apparently dubbed by a man. the same was done with her role on Orange is the New Black. This is so transphobic, it’s actually ridiculous.”

Italian trans actor and voice actor Vittoria Schisano told The Guardian she believes the dubbing choice was a “straight-up act of violence” and says she was never approached to voice the character, despite having previously dubbed Cox on Netflix documentary Amend: The Fight for America.

This isn’t the first time one of Cox’s characters has been voiced by a man in Italy. In Orange is the New Black, her character, Sophia Burset, was voiced by Andrea Lavagnino, who also replaced her voice in The Mindy Project and Doubt.

In Spain and Germany, a cis man was also cast to voice Cox in Promising Young Woman.

The Independent has contacted Cox’s representatives for comment.

A spokesperson for Universal Pictures International told The Guardian in a statement: “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.”

“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.”

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