Peppermint Addresses the New York Times Review Misgendering Her Head Over Heels Character

Peppermint as Pythio in Head Over Heels. Photo: Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Peppermint, the trans actress who plays the oracle Pythio in the Go-Go’s jukebox musical Head Over Heels, has explained how she reacted to Ben Brantley’s New York Times review that misgendered her character in a new interview. “I thought it was unfortunate. I didn’t take it as personally as some other people may have taken it, because obviously I’ve seen the show, and there was a particular context that would be helpful in this situation,” she told GQ. “However, it was a misgendering. Whether it was unintentional or a joke or whatever you want to call it, I think he learned very quickly.”

In part of Brantley’s initial review, he made light of Peppermint’s character, who identifies as “non-binary plural” and uses they/them pronouns, by joking that a character “finds himself strangely drawn to her — I mean them.” The morning after the review was posted, and drew outrage online, the Times edited out the line, and Brantley issued an apology, claiming he was trying to match the light tone of the show, but missed the mark. “The only way that people are going to get exposed to different minorities and marginalized communities is through their entertainment,” Peppermint told GQ about her disappointment. “With a joke or an aside or with the pretense that it’s temporary or not serious, the takeaway is that these existences are the same thing: That they are jokes, that they are not serious.”

With Head Over Heels, Peppermint is the first out trans woman to create a principal role on Broadway, but she also said she’s not bothered by the uncomfortable reception from the NYT and by extension, the theatrical establishment. “I know that the New York Times is something that the industry looks to,” she said. “I don’t really care because I consider myself a guest in this industry, so I have very little to lose by speaking out on this. So bring it on.”

Peppermint Addresses Misgendering NYT Head Over Heels Review