Universal apologizes after using a man to dub Laverne Cox in ‘Promising Young Woman’


Universal Images International has apologized plus delayed its global rollout for “Promising Young Woman” after casting male stars in Italy and elsewhere to dub Laverne Cox’s performance.

The international distributor released a statement Wednesday after an early clip from the Italian version of the Oscar-winning thriller sparked outrage on social networking. In the preview, Cox’s personality, Gail, was voiced simply by Italian actor Roberto Pedicini while conversing with Carey Mulligan’s Cassie in a picture from the film.

“We are deeply thankful to Laverne and the transgender community for opening the eyes to a bias that will neither we nor many in our industry had recognized, ” a spokesperson just for Universal Pictures International told the Guardian .

“While there was no harmful intent behind this mistake, we are working diligently to repair it. We have begun redubbing Ms. Cox’s voice with female actors in our global territories and are pushing back release dates to ensure the proper version is available. ”


According to Universal Pictures Italy’s website, the Italian launch of “Promising Young Woman” has been rescheduled from Fri to June 24. The Guardian reports that man actors were also drawn on to voice Gail vacation and Germany.

The inauthentic casting choice has been condemned as “downright transphobic” on Twitter, where variations of these complaint have been circulating:

“@glaad It has come to our attention that in many translations of Emerald Fennel’s film Promising Young Woman, Laverne Cox’s character has been dubbed by way of a man, ” one person tweeted, tagging the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

“Is there something you can do about this? This is pure transphobia and we can not let this happen. ”

Representatives for Cox, the newly announced host for E! ‘s red-carpet coverage , did not respond Thursday to The Times’ request for comment.

“We are sorry for the pain caused but are thankful that we can address the problem on this film and prevent similar mistakes from happening again on future projects, ” the statement from Universal Pictures International continued.


Among the many who criticized the distributor for misgendering Cox and her character was trans Italian actress Vittoria Schisano, who told the Guardian she was not considered for the role of Gail despite having dubbed Cox’s work in the past for the Italian version of the Netflix documentary “Amend: The Fight for America. ”

“I think this dubbing choice was a straight-up act of violence, ” Schisano, who has also dubbed characters for the Italian versions of “Big Mouth” and “Raya and the Last Dragon, ” told the Guardian. “It’s insulting. I’d feel bullied if I were [Cox].

“Changing one’s mind can be a smart approach. We can all make mistakes, but those who are smart apologize, take a step right back and try to fix it. ”


Last month, Cox attended the 93rd Academy Awards where “Promising Young Woman” was nominated in five categories, including lead actress (Mulligan) and most readily useful picture. It won original screenplay , accepted by writer-director Emerald Fennell — the very first woman to win a screenwriting Oscar since 2008.

“They said [to] write a speech but I didn’t because I just didn’t think this would ever come true, ” said Fennell, who had been also nominated for overseer, in her acceptance special message.

“This film was made by the many incredible people in the world who seem to made it in 23 evenings and brought their ultimate genius and love and consequently humor to it. ”

“Promising Young Woman” is available in the United States on video-on-demand platforms.