Inclusive Syfy TV show criticised for depicting anti-trans violence

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

A popular television show, which is widely regarded as being one of the most LGBT inclusive on air, has been accused by GLAAD and many fans of showing a scene depicting images similar to those of anti-trans violence.

Syfy’s Lost Girl, of which the main character, Bo, is a bisexual, supernatural heroine who investigates supernatural crimes, was accused by some of including a scene which was too similar to real anti-trans violence.

In the Season 3 premiere, the main character is imprisoned, and must “reveal” that the warden is biologically male, and is a “shapeshifter” disguised as a woman. She does this by kissing her and telling the prison guards that she has stubble.

The warden has her crotch grabbed violently, and is then dragged away, and the other characters then refer to her using exclusively male pronouns.

Arguments erupted over whether or not the warden was meant to be representative of a real-life trans person, or simply a “shapeshifter”.

Many were critical of the fact that some had perceived the scene as too similar to real life trans violence, which can result from attackers discovering that they are trans.

A statement released by producers of Lost Girl read: “We want to let you know that the Lost Girl writers base all episodic characters off of researched folklore, and that the character of The Warden in the premiere of Season 3 is a character based off the mythological shapeshifter known as the Liderc. The Warden was only intended to represent this mythic being,

“We did not intend this character to be seen as a transgender person, we apologize if the character was seen as such. We do hope that you accept that no comparison or discrimination toward the transgender community was intended by the depiction of this mythological character.”, it continued.

“Lost Girl prides itself on being open and accepting to everyone, and are enthusiastic supporters of the GLBT community. We want to encourage a society in which everyone can feel comfortable to express and be who they are without judgment. Equality and a world without labels is important to all of us at the series. We strive to create three dimensional characters, who empower all viewers regardless of sexuality or gender.”

GLAAD also released a statement about the complaints, which said:  “It’s especially unfortunate that this scene took place on a show with strong bisexual and lesbian lead characters, including the Lost Girl herself, Bo, who began a relationship with a woman in this same episode,

“Lost Girl has a very loyal fanbase among lesbian and bisexual women, and with good reason, as it’s one of the few shows on television to make their stories the focus rather than supplementary plot, not to mention one featuring well-rounded, out characters. We hope that they will continue to set a good example in future episodes.”

Last year, Greek state television came under fire for editing out a gay kiss on the premiere of the British period drama Downton Abbey.