As further noted, Italy has made this offensive error before—several times, in fact (meaning it’s not an error; just offensive). Most notably, Cox’s characters in Italian versions of Orange Is the New Black, The Mindy Project and another project were also voiced by a male actor. But the issue also isn’t exclusive to Italy, as “in Spain and Germany, a cis man was cast to voice Cox in Promising Young Woman,” the Guardian reports.


Faced with understandable backlash over the over their callous disregard for Cox’s gender, Universal Pictures International, which is handling European distribution of the film, released the following 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 recognized. 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.


Of course, given the fact that so few roles are afforded to trans actors and voice actors, it might be nice to get further clarity on which “female actors” Universal intends to use, since there is clearly an opportunity here. It’s one of many issues addressed in the now Peabody Award-nominated Netflix documentary Disclosure, executive produced by Cox. However, we’ll defer to Schisano, who maintained “that dubbing is like ‘finding a dress that perfectly fits someone,’ and this ‘has nothing to do with being cis or trans.’” (Full disclosure: This writer also moonlights as a professional voice actor, and she’s not wrong about the fit.)

However, this issue may also present an opportunity for the European film industry to reexamine its longstanding racial issues, since, as noted by the Guardian:

It’s no secret that Italy’s dubbing elites are overwhelmingly white and cis. For Daniele Giuliani, the newly appointed president of Associazione Nazionale Attori Doppiatori (ANAD), this isn’t discriminatory. “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,” Giuliani says.


This is no doubt a bigger and continuing conversation about talent pipelines, implicit bias, and access in the film industry. But as for the topic at hand, I suppose we can at least be mildly encouraged that Universal is taking reparative actions that may hopefully compel others to follow suit.

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


See? It’s that simple.