Trace Lysette, a transgender actress who plays a transgender character on the Amazon series Transparent, protested the casting of [Scarlett] Johansson not because the character was an insult to the transgendered. Lysette was offended that Johansson was taking work from people like her.
Lysette complained on Twitter that “not only do you play us and steal our narrative and our opportunity but you pat yourselves on the back with trophies and accolades for mimicking what we have lived . . . so twisted. I’m so done.”
This strikes me as silly. Not long ago, simply calling attention to the existence of the transgendered was deemed a victory for their cause. In 1999, Hillary Swank received massive critical praise — and an Oscar — for playing a transgender woman in Boys Don’t Cry (a movie I despised). No one complained about stolen narratives then. (By the way, did anyone complain when Charlton Heston, an Episcopalian, stole the most famous Jewish narrative of all time by playing Moses?)
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If Business Insider had simply opted to reject the piece at first, that would have been fine, and it would have spared itself a lot of embarrassment. Instead, its editors opted to cave to political pressure. Its surrender to the mob tells us a lot about the power of the social-justice-warrior mob and the weakness of Business Insider’s editors.
Business Insider was always left-leaning, but usually appeared pretty sane. As with the Atlantic, beginning with Andrew Sullivan’s Trig Truther obsession and culminating in its recent institutional meltdown over the hiring of Kevin Williamson, its editors may find it’s quite difficult to recapture their publication’s reputation after this week’s debacle.
Related: In the Washington Post today, Daniella Greenbaum, the author of the column that the SJWs at Business Insiderattempted to memory hole writes, “The social media mob is a danger to society:”
As the definition of what constitutes offensive speech grows ever wider, more and more people who are certain that their views fall somewhere in the mainstream will find themselves backed into corners. Ultimately, even the wokest of the warriors will realize that when it comes to outrunning the predatory mob they’ve created, no space is safe.
As conservative videomaker Ladd Ehlinger warned in 2013 while Justine Sacco was having her life destroyed by the Twitter outrage mob being ginned up by BuzzFeed, “Just because you’re in the mob one day, don’t think it protects you from the mob the next day.”