Matt Bomer’s new movie is already sparking controversy before even a single frame has been shot.
The “White Collar” star has signed on to play a transgender sex worker opposite fellow “American Horror Story” veteran John Carroll Lynch in “Anything,” which is based on the Timothy McNeil play of the same name. According to Variety, Bomer’s character finds solace in Lynch, who plays a Southern widower, and together the two form an unlikely relationship.
The film will mark McNeil’s big-screen directorial debut and will be executive produced by Mark Ruffalo, who told Variety, “Love is at the essence of great storytelling and transcends all discrimination and politicization.”
On social media, however, it was a much different story. Almost immediately following the Monday announcement, many expressed their frustration at Hollywood’s decision to cast Bomer, who is openly gay, in a transgender role.
Among those expressing their distaste with the casting choice was transgender “Sense8” actress Jamie Clayton.
Shortly after she tweeted at the “Magic Mike” star, Clayton claimed Bomer blocked her on Twitter.
Much of the backlash echoes sentiments expressed when other cisgender Hollywood stars have tackled trans roles in recent films. Both Eddie Redmayne and Jared Leto came under fire from a number of LGBT rights advocates for playing trans characters in 2015’s “The Danish Girl” and 2013’s “The Dallas Buyers Club,” respectively.
It should be noted that both actors received Academy Award nominations for their roles; Leto took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2014.
The Huffington Post has reached out to a representative for Bomer.