The May 13 Italian-language premiere of Emerald Fennell’s Oscar-nominated Promising Young Woman has been delayed after a clip in which Laverne Cox’s character, Gail, is dubbed by a male actor, Roberto Pedicini, was released on May 6. Italian viewers expressed their outrage with the casting decision on social media. “I think this dubbing choice was a straight-up act of violence,” Italian actress and voice actress Vittoria Schisano, a trans woman who had previously dubbed Cox in the documentary Amend: The Fight for America, told the Guardian. “It’s insulting. I’d feel bullied if I were [Cox],” she added. The Italian versions of Cox’s projects have been doing this for years. Her roles on Orange Is the New Black, The Mindy Project, and Doubt are all dubbed by the same man, Andrea Lavagnino. A cis man also voices her Promising Young Woman character in Germany and Spain, where the movie is already out. Universal Pictures International, which handles distribution of the movie in Europe, gave a statement to the Guardian. “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 recognised,” it reads. “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.
“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,” it adds. “We’ve never had Black voice actors — not because we didn’t want them but because there aren’t any who have specialized in voice acting,” Daniele Giuliani, president of Italy’s national association of voice actors, said to the Guardian. On that note, never miss an opportunity to watch and rewatch Disclosure.