English-language movies are often dubbed into other languages for international audiences, with actors fluent in a particular language substituting their own voices for the original dialogue.
While this practice is common, it caused a stir when a clip from the Italian-dubbed version of “Promising Young Woman” was released, and featured a male actor providing the dialogue for Gail, portrayed by transgender actress Laverne Cox of “Orange Is the New Black” fame.
“I think this dubbing choice was a straight-up act of violence,” Italian trans actor and voice actor Vittoria Schisano told The Guardian. “It’s insulting. I’d feel bullied if I were [Cox].”
As a result of the controversy, Universal Pictures is pausing release of the movie until Cox’s voice can be redubbed by a female actor. In addition, similar redubbings will also be taking place with the Spanish and German versions, which also cast male voice actors to dub Cox’s dialogue.
“We are deeply grateful to Laverne and the transgender community for opening our eyes to a bias that neither we nor many in our industry had recognized,” a spokesperson for Universal Pictures International said in a statement to The Guardian. “While there was no malicious intent behind this mistake, we are working diligently to fix it. We have begun redubbing Ms Cox’s voice with female actors in our international territories and are pushing back release dates to ensure the correct version is available.”
The statement added: “We are sorry for the pain caused but are thankful that we can address the situation on this film and prevent similar mistakes from happening again on future projects.”