Jared Leto’s road to the Oscars got a little bumpier at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
THR is reporting that Leto was heckled by a transgender woman from the audience while accepting the festival’s Virtuosos Award for his performance as transgender AIDS activist Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club.
Calling it “trans-misogyny,” the heckler then yelled out that Leto didn’t “deserve an award for playing a trans-woman” because he is male.
Countering the heckler’s argument that only trans people should play trans roles, he replied that if by doing so “you’ve made sure people that are gay, people that aren’t straight, people like the Rayons of the world would never have the opportunity to turn the tables and explore parts of that art.”
Though Leto and the heckler were spotted after the confrontation having what was described as a “cordial” conversation, both heckler and heckled make good points about the state of openly LGBT actors in LGBT roles as well as the role of transformation in art.
Leto is just the latest in a long line of heterosexual actors being showered with accolades for playing LGBT roles, but the dialogue happening this time around is new, and will, we hope, open doors for LGBT actors playing LGBT characters in the future.