In ‘Disclosure,’ Laverne Cox and Sam Feder explore trans representation in media

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Last decade was huge for transgender representation in Hollywood. Laverne Cox appeared on the cover of “Time” and became the first openly transgender actor to be nominated for an Emmy for her role in the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black.” Shows like FX’s “Pose” won praise and awards for their depiction of trans people of color with a cast that was mostly trans people of color.

The new Netflix documentary “Disclosure,” produced by Cox and directed by Sam Feder, takes a close look at this evolution. It uses a non-chronological structure to draw throughlines between movies and show how Hollywood has depicted transgender characters over the years.

The film draws on decades of archival footage, from “Bugs Bunny” to “Silence of the Lambs.” Many of the portrayals have perpetuated false stereotypes of trans people. “Disclosure” argues those images don’t just affect people in Hollywood, but they affect trans people watching at home or in the theater.

Cox and Feder talk about the years of work that went into the film, the hiring practices that went into bringing aboard a mostly transgender crew, and why Cox identifies with Barbra Streisand’s character in “Yentl.”




Kim Masters