Famous Cast Words

S1 E5 | FULL EPISODE

Emilio Delgado & Aneesh Sheth

Hosted by actor and writer Lynne Marie Rosenberg (HBO's "High Maintenance"), in “Famous Cast Words” stars from stage and screen discuss representation and inclusion issues facing the entertainment industry. Take a walk down “Sesame Street” with Emilio Delgado as he reminisces on 44 years of playing Luis on the iconic show. Join Aneesh Sheth (“Jessica Jones”) as she talks about her acting career.

AIRED: February 26, 2020 | 0:30:22
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TRANSCRIPT

Somebody presents a role to me

where he's gonna be a drug smugglers or a bandito

or he's doing ugly things to kids,

I'm not gonna do that.

♪♪

Hi. Welcome to "Famous Cast Words."

I'm Lynne Marie Rosenberg,

and we are bringing you this episode from my home.

I have with me here today actor/singer Emilio Delgado.

You may know Emilio from his 40+ years

as Luis on "Sesame Street."

You might not know him as the voice

of Boar's Head meats on Spanish radio.

Hi, Emilio. Hi, Lynne.

I'm so happy to have you here today.

I'm glad to be here with you.

So, you were on "Sesame Street" from 1971 to 2015.

Is that correct?

Well, yeah. That's about it.

So, how did you get that part --

that part that became a defining role for your life?

Whoa. I'm telling you, it's a long story,

but I'll try to make it as short as I can.

Tell it as long as you like.

I was an actor in Hollywood --

young actor, just starting out,

and trying to get represented on TV,

you know, looking for a job.

Mm-hmm.

-No jobs anywhere. -Mm-hmm.

In particular for a Chicano actor, I'd imagine.

Exactly. So, you know, it was not easy.

But one day I got a phone call out of the blue,

you know, from New York,

and somebody said on the phone,

"Mr. Delgado, we wonder if you'd like to audition for our show,

'Sesame Street,'"

and I was looking at my last unemployment check,

and I didn't know where this was coming from,

so I said, "Sure, yes."

And so the producer, David Connell,

came out to Los Angeles from New York,

and I interviewed with him

for about 10, 15 minutes, something like that.

They just wanted to get a feel, what I looked like,

what I sounded like, whatever.

I don't know. But he asked me things like,

"Can you speak Spanish?" And I said, "Yes, of course."

He says, "Would you shave off your mustache?"

'Cause I had a -- that's the one year

I had a mustache...

And I said, "Yeah, sure."

I'm thinking, "I'll shave anything."

Yeah. [ Laughs ]

Eyebrows, total head, you got it.

Yeah, but he said, "Thank you very much,"

after about 15, 20 minutes and that was it.

Didn't hear for a month, didn't hear anything,

so I just kind of kissed it off.

Another audition -- eh! -- out the window, right?

But then I got another call,

and then Jon Stone, the producer/director/writer --

he was everything on the show --

he came out to Los Angeles, and he interviewed me.

And I guess he just wanted to feel me out

and see what I sounded like, what I looked like,

what kind of person I was.

I didn't audition. I mean, I didn't sing.

I didn't act.

They didn't have anything to audition with.

He just talked with me,

and after about 15 minutes he just looked at me,

and he said, "Well, if you want to work with us,

be in New York October 11th."

I think it says a lot about

the importance of "Sesame Street"

and the importance of the humans of "Sesame Street"

that the audition was really just who you are as a person...

Yeah.

...'cause I think the human beings --

as wonderful as the Muppets are,

and as wonderful as the animation is,

there was something so special about

seeing lots of different kinds of human beings... Yeah.

...and them bringing their heart to a role.

Well, see, that was the thing.

With Jon Stone -- I mean, this guy was amazing.

I mean, he was, like, a total genius

in every aspect of theater and performing.

And I think Jon Stone as the --

sort of like the father of the whole thing,

wanted it to be as real as possible.

Consequently, he didn't want actors. Right.

He wanted real people... Yeah.

...which is what we all were, and we all came together,

and it was like we knew each other already,

like we were a family.

For me, being the Chicano who came in from Los Angeles,

where most of us Mexican Americans

at that time were from the west... Yeah.

...there were very few Mexican Americans

here in New York.

I mean, it was all Puerto Ricans, you know,

and Boriqueños, you know. Yeah.

But all of a sudden here we were

in the neighborhood in New York.

The Chicanos are here, you know?

[ Laughs ] And you get to be the face of all that.

Yeah. There it is, you know -- Luis!

[ Laughs ]

And I always threw stuff in, like, in Spanish, you know?

Whatever the script was,

a lot of times I'd change it, and I would ask them.

I'd say, "What if I changed this

to say it in Spanish here?" or whatever.

And they would be very amenable to that

because, of course, they wanted to bring in the kids

that didn't speak English, you know.

And I would throw in things like, you know,

the first time that I saw Big Bird walk on,

my line was, "Big Bird!"

I didn't say "Big Bird!" I said, "Pajaro!"

Nice.

And we did it, and then they cut the scene,

they stopped the scene, and then Jon said,

"What does that mean, 'Pajaro,' whatever?"

I said, "It means bird." He says, "Oh, okay."

So they had a little conference,

you know, in the room, and said, "Okay, keep it.

Call him Pajaro." I love that.

So I call him Pajaro from then on every time I saw him.

Somebody presents a role to me

The representation on that show

worked in two important ways, I think.

One is that kids who were Latino,

kids who were Mexican, kids who were black,

were seeing themselves represented

in public television. Mm-hmm.

And then on the other side, for a white kid like me

coming up in the suburbs,

you were the first Mexican I knew.

You know, Gordon was probably... Yeah.

...one of the first black people I knew. Really?

And I think there's something so powerful

about what it means to see everyone.

Yeah. You know, I think,

how have you seen representation change

over your years in the industry

in terms of who we're actually getting to see?

You know, when I first started out in Hollywood,

yeah, there had been, you know,

Latinos and Latinas on movies and television --

the big people, you know, like Anthony Quinn

and Cesar Romero and all those guys.

I mean, they'd been around for a long time.

But then everything was changing,

and there really wasn't any representation

of actual people, you know?

Most of the roles that I went out for

were either for bandits or, you know,

gang members or whatever, you know.

And the women were prostitutes or maids or whatever it was.

Those were the only parts that were around for us. Right.

Things have changed a little bit,

but it's still got a long way to go, I think, today.

Has a very long way to go, which we will see

when we get to the breakdowns, but we won't go there just yet.

Don't get me started! [ Laughs ]

Somebody presents a role to me

I think the celebrity that comes from "Sesame Street"

is so different than your basic movie stars

in that you were really part of four generations' worth,

or three generations' worth, of humans

developing educationally in the United States.

Boy, I couldn't have said it better myself, I tell you. Thank you.

[ Laughing ]

And I'll tell you that over the years

I also went out into the world,

doing little shows here and there

and meeting people and families,

and people your age and even older that watched the show.

As soon as they see us, they revert to 5-year-old...

Absolutely.

...because it was such an important part

of their life, you know?

-Yeah. -Latchkey kids.

I mean, they come up to me and say,

"You're the only person that I saw during the day

because my mom was working,"

or, "my dad was working," or whatever, you know, so,

"We saw your show, and you were our friends,

you know, and you taught me this,

and you taught me that."

So, yeah, we were part of the family, and we still are.

I can remember a couple of instances.

One of them was this young woman came up,

and she looked Mexican American,

and she was crying, you know,

and she said, "I'm from Colorado in this little town" --

I can't remember the name of the town --

"up in the mountains.

Our family was the only Mexican family in the whole town. Yeah.

And when I turned on the TV,

you were the only other person that looked like me."

Yeah.

"You were the only one, and I couldn't wait

to turn on 'Sesame Street' just so that I could see you."

I mean, that alone was amazing, you know.

Somebody presents a role to me

So since you are Mexican American,

I thought we would look today at what sort of language

pops up in the casting world for Latino,

and specifically Mexican roles.

-Ooh boy. Yeah. -Yeah. Get ready.

Ay. This language, of course, comes from breakdowns,

and breakdowns are little bits of text

that are used in the casting world

to define what a project is looking for.

First I thought we would look at some character names.

There's no shortage of creative monikers.

"Coyote" ["Coy-yo-tay"], or "cai-oh-tee."

[ Laughing ] Yes.

"Mexican bandito," ["ban-dee-toe"]

or it should be "bahn-dedo," come on.

"El Caboose." There you go.

-Ay. -[ Laughing ] "Ay"!

-I've run into those. -I bet.

And do make sure you've honed your counting skills.

"Thug number 1." Ay.

"Bandits number 1, 2, 3."

[ As Count von Count ] Ah-ha-ha!

[ Normal voice ] Writers seem particularly

interested in your manliness...

"A tough-looking guy."

"Very macho-looking." [ Laughs ]

"Lots of testosterone."

"Plenty of attitude."

...though this shouldn't come as a surprise,

given the lifestyle you'll be asked to play.

"Hotheaded thug."

"Gangster look."

"Look, or could look, like gang members."

"A true cholo." Okay.

I love the "look or could look like gang" --

isn't, as actors, we're supposed to

possibly look like many things?

-"Look, or could look." -Yeah.

If we just do a little bit more,

like, maybe put a gold chain on him.

That's right, or more mustache.

But don't worry.

Sometimes you will get to play against type.

"He's a killer... with a heart."

In general, it seems Mexican actors

can expect to portray characters from one particular industry.

"A cartel middleman." Of course.

"A drug lord." Lot of those.

"Formerly a drug mule." Formerly.

Yeah, formerly. So what's he do now?

And if you're lucky, you just might be

the best in the biz.

"A legendary drug smuggler.

His particular skill involves hiding product..."

[laughing] "inside of himself."

Whatever picture that conjures up.

Oh, I don't want to picture anything.

[ Laughs ]

These things come up.

They sent me a script one time where literally they had

this one guy who was supposed to be a Latino of some kind,

and said that he wore pointed shoes

so that he could kill the cockroaches in the corners.

Oh, come on!

That was in the script.

As the character description?

As the character description.

And I read that, and I looked at it, and thought,

"Nah. This is what I would never do, you know?"

Yeah. I just called the agent

and said, "Tell them to change that,

or just do nothing with this thing.

This is ridiculous, you know?" Yeah.

How often do you say no,

or have you had to say no to things?

I've said no sometimes, yeah, before.

Because of this sort of representation issue?

-Because of that, yeah. -Yeah.

They're ethnic slurs.

I mean, they're stereotypes of people,

not the way people really are,

or my people really are, you know? Yeah.

I mean, we're like -- Luis and Maria.

See, they're a perfect family on "Sesame Street," you know?

Here they are -- they have a family.

They run a business together.

They're part of the neighborhood.

They're friendly. They work. Yeah.

I mean, you know, regular people, right? Yeah.

But if somebody presents a role to me

where he's gonna be a drug smuggler or a bandito

or he's doing ugly things to kids,

I'm not gonna do that. Yeah.

Luis: L-O-V-E, man -- you know,

that says "love," and that's a good word.

-Love? -Right.

What is love?

Well, you see, you wouldn't understand what it means

because you're a machine, you know,

and it's a human thing,

but love is like when you like somebody a lot,

and, you know, you want to hug them and kiss them,

and you feel kind of good and warm inside.

So you've had a career that has lasted now 40+ years.

What sort of roles are you going out for now,

and how has that changed over the years?

Yeah, well, it seems because of my age now --

of course, time has passed --

that I'll be doing a lot of grandfather roles...

-Mm-hmm. -...Grandpa and what have you.

That's fine, you know. I'll go right along with it.

But, of course, the good parts

in terms of film and television

seem to be a little sparse right now.

But I'm always looking forward

to doing an excellent role somewhere.

But theater -- in terms of theater --

I get to do all kinds of different kind of roles,

you know? It's interesting.

I've seen television do better

in terms of trans representation,

ethnicity representation, disability representation... Mm-hmm.

...is doing better, currently, than theater is.

But it's interesting that, in terms of age representation,

theater does seem to offer more opportunities.

I think so, you know.

Especially for somebody like me,

the age that I'm at right now,

it's, you know -- like, television and film,

if they ask for somebody in their 60s,

you got to look like somebody in their 60s.

Now, if I say that I'm 79, which I am,

and the part calls for somebody who's 60,

they're just gonna toss it out the window, you know,

'cause just by looking at the number.

But if I show up and I can look like I'm in my 60s,

why not, you know? Yeah.

But it doesn't work like that all the time.

I think you look like you're in your 50s.

-Really? -Yes.

-Ooh, thank you. -You and my dad.

I know I -- I knew you were a good friend of mine.

That's why.

Look, you can pay me later.

I'm so happy to have you here, and it is such an honor.

The 5-year-old inside of me is consistently amazed

that we are friends now. Yes.

But thank you so much for being here with me today.

-You're very welcome. -I love you very much.

-It's a pleasure to be here. -Thank you.

Thank you for watching.

Take care of each other, and be professional.

♪♪

Somebody presents a role to me

Somebody presents a role to me

"Think Mindy Kaling,

think a bitchy Mindy Kaling, Mindy Kaling type,

Mindy Kaling-like presence,

kind of Mindy Kaling."

This hits home.

♪♪

Hi. Welcome to "Famous Cast Words."

I'm Lynne Marie Rosenberg.

I am here today at the home of activist, writer, actor,

singer, producer Aneesh Sheth.

And this is her boss, Ella.

You might know Aneesh as Gillian

on the most recent season of "Jessica Jones."

You might not know her

from a series of popular software-company commercials

that aired only in Washington,

one of which was directed by a man who broke my heart.

And that is how small the entertainment industry is.

-Yes, it is. -Hi, Aneesh.

Hi, Lynne.

This is truly probably the best day of my life.

I'm sitting with you with a dog,

and then people are filming me.

It doesn't get any better.

No, it doesn't get any better than that.

-No, it doesn't get any better. -Does it?

So "Jessica Jones" recently dropped,

on which you play Gillian, Jessica's assistant, right?

Personal assistant, basically. Yes.

Can you tell me a little bit about Gillian,

both in the season

and in the Marvel Universe in general?

I believe Gillian is new to the Marvel Universe.

Okay.

She was not previously in the comics or anything.

She's very fashionable.

She's wearing couture the entire season,

which was a joy for me.

She's really smart, and she's a really tough chick.

She didn't take any BS from anyone..

Yeah. Something I particularly like about Gillian,

and I think we'll talk a fair amount about this today,

is what is not focused on

is the fact that she is transgender.

-Yeah, it's great. -It's really amazing.

And you realize, I think, there's been so much

wonderful, positive press about your character --

about your performance, but particularly about

the character's presentation in the show. Yeah.

And you realize how little we get to see

transgender human beings just being human beings...

Just being, yeah. ...not in regards to their story.

I'm lucky that a lot of my career

has built on non-roles that were specifically trans,

but this was the first time that I was in a capacity

where I could develop a character

where it wasn't just, like, somebody

who was a guest spot on an episode.

You know, there was, like, an arc

that was happening through an entire season.

And so as the season started going on,

I started noticing that there was no story

involving her identity,

that she was just simply there as this assistant.

She was bad ass. Oh, can I say that?

-Yeah. -Okay.

You know, and that she was really tough

and, you know, and she just existed.

And as an actor, it was really amazing

to be able to go to work every day

and not have to add educating people

on top of my job description.

I could just go in as every other actor

and be an actor and focus on my craft

and focus on my storytelling.

"Think Mindy Kaling,

So, in addition to representing the transgender community,

you get to represent the South Asian community as well. I do.

And something we have talked about

is the discussion and casting of accents. Yes.

What have you dealt with

in terms of expectations of accents and...?

Well, at this point in my career,

I don't do anything that has an accent.

If anything comes in, that's like,

"Oh, it requires an accent," I'm like, "Well, first of all,

there's other actresses who have a much more authentic accent."

If the role requires the person to have an accent,

if the role doesn't require someone to have an accent

and the accent is there for a joke,

I clearly am not going to be a part of that.

But, like, kind of tying into what I said earlier

about the kind of roles that I've been blessed

to play in this business

have not been written for trans folks,

a lot of the roles that I've also played have not been

specifically written for South Asian folks as well.

So being able to then also bring my identity into those roles

where it wasn't specifically written in

makes me feel really proud about my identity.

-Yeah. -Yeah.

And specifically with Gillian, too --

she was not supposed to be South Asian.

And she is because I am. Yeah. Yeah.

I looked back through a few months worth of casting

that is out in the world. Mm-hmm.

And, generally, the only times the words

"South Asian" or "Indian" appear for women

is when they are lumped in with other ethnicities. Yep.

There's very little written explicitly

for South Asian characters. Yeah.

Now, on the one hand, I do think it's wonderful

that you have done parts that, like,

you being you allows representation to occur. Right.

On the other hand, it was very educational

to really see starkly... Yeah.

...how rare it is

that these roles are being written for women.

Absolutely. This community is so small, right?

So I know so many Indian actresses who --

we all show up at the same auditions

because those roles are so few and far between.

And sometimes they're not even good.

You know, they're just like,

"We made this character South Asian,"

and there's, like, no thought put into

why this character is this specific race

or, you know, why their culture

is important to their character.

It's just usually because we're trying to be more inclusive,

which is a disservice to everybody around.

Right? It's a disservice to the actresses

who come in for the role 'cause it's like,

that's the kind of stuff we have to play.

And then it's also a disservice to the creators

who aren't creating authentic characters, you know,

and then it's a disservice to the audience

who's really looking for that type of representation.

♪♪

You mentioned everyone you know

showing up for the same auditions. Yeah.

I wonder if you could talk that this happens

in some transgender casting,

where people will show up for the same roles.

Mm-hmm. But you have trans men,

you have gender-nonconforming individuals,

you have trans women. Yeah.

That the industry sometimes seems to think

that transgender is this massive umbrella.

Yes. Yeah. What has your experience been with that?

You know, it's the same of, like, I'm -- you know,

"I'm casting character A, B, C, and D

and they all just need to be of a certain age."

You know? That's one thing.

But then there's also the problematic side of it

where people do where, like, they say,

"I'm looking for transgender people,"

and they'll cast a wide net

because they think that being trans is a type.

And you know, within my own community,

I see my friends going to these auditions,

and, like, neither of us are this type.

But we're still here, you know.

We know the girl or the guy

or the non-binary person who is totally right for this.

But somehow we all ended up here

because they think that trans is just

this "type" to be fulfilled.

-Right. -Yeah.

"Think Mindy Kaling,

So, in addition to being an actor and a singer,

you also have a social-work degree. I do.

So you were in the industry... Mm-hmm.

...and then you left to pursue a social-work degree,

and you worked for The Trevor Project. That's right.

I wonder if you could tell us about how you wind up

deciding to leave in that time of your life

and then how it informed back... Yeah.

...on your time in the industry.

So, I came off of the national tour of "Bombay Dreams,"

and I was kind of in this place

where I did play a trans character in the show,

and it definitely got into my head

about my own gender identity.

And for a long time, people had been like,

"Are you sure?"

'Cause I'd presented very femme

for many, many years, people were saying,

"You sure you don't want to be a woman?

Are you sure you don't want to be a woman?"

And the thing that I kept saying was, like,

"No, because of my career." Right? Oh.

And as my self-expression grew

and my kind of self-exploration grew,

I realized how little, how less room the industry

was making for someone like me,

as so much so that I had an agent who was like,

"I can't find you work as a gay South Asian male.

How am I gonna find you work as a trans South Asian female?"

So, after that, I obviously left the agency,

and I kind of did some exploring with my life.

I said, "Well, what do I do?" Someone said,

"Well, why don't you look for a place to volunteer?"

And The Trevor Project was opening

their New York call center.

So I applied to be a counselor, and so that's how I started.

And I was a counselor for a couple months there,

and then there was a position opening

within the program department.

So I became the program intern

and I was there for about two and a half years.

By the time I left, I was associate manager

of the call center, and it was during that time

I had felt such a passion for helping other people.

And I saw how little room there was for a trans person

in the -- in show business, that I thought,

"Let me pursue something else.

It's time for me to move on

and pursue a different career path,"

not knowing that in a few years' time

the industry would open its arms up to trans representation.

Prior to me being a social worker,

in the entertainment industry,

I felt like I had no confidence

in speaking up for myself or anything else

that was kind of happening in the industry.

I just let things happen, and I wasn't forthcoming about

what I wanted out of my career

and what kind of opportunities I really wanted to be seen for.

I was just kind of grateful to be existing.

And then as a social worker, you really learn

not to only advocate for your own needs

as a social worker within the system,

but as somebody who has to advocate for somebody else.

♪♪

Aneesh, over the course of your career,

I imagine you have auditioned for roles

defined as transgender, defined as South Asian.

So I thought we would look at some casting language

for each of those demographics. Okay.

As a reminder, these come from breakdowns,

which are little bits of text character descriptions

that help the casting world find who they're looking for.

As far as transgender female characters are concerned,

there seems to be one area of employment

for which writers would like to hire you.

Uh-huh? Sex worker. Yeah.

Yep. Sex worker. Prostitute. Sex worker.

Though some might be confused about

what they're actually looking for.

"Transgender call-girl types,

male." Mm-hmm.

Ooh. Ooh. [ Laughs ]

The job does come with perks, though,

mostly a lot of outdoor time.

"The streets are her life.

Worked several blocks for the past four years.

Selling herself on Sunset Boulevard

has toughened her up beyond her years."

You know, I want to say that I'm surprised

and I'm shocked,

but I'm actually not because you know --

yes, you know -- how many times you see this.

-Yes. -Oh, my goodness.

And, of course, sex work is a thing that you could do. Yeah.

But when you're -- constantly the only role

that seems to be popping up is for that...

Yes, and you know that when these characters --

these sex-work characters -- are put in these scripts,

they're not telling a nuanced story

that's going to really bring empathy,

to that community because we need to

because there's such a stigma around it.

These are the topical,

"We need to be sensationalistic..."

Okay. I'm gonna -- Well, and half the time they die.

And then yes!

But not only transgender roles

are singularly focused on your sexual prowess.

Apparently, as a South Asian woman,

you'll be just as in demand for a certain expertise.

"Uses ancient religious rituals to rise to the top

of the high-end-escort business."

-I mean, it is... -Oh.

-...it's high-end. -Wow. This is --

I see intersectionality's happening here.

So progressive.

Though you might be needed for additional skill sets as well.

"A beautiful, hypnotic snake charmer"?

Obviously. Obviously.

Obviously, I do that on my Saturday mornings.

[ Laughs ] Just Ella, a snake...

-Oh, yeah. -...and a flute.

And a flute.

But if you wanted to play anything else,

I'm afraid you only have one idiom to work toward.

"Think Mindy Kaling,

think a bitchy Mindy Kaling, Mindy Kaling type,

Mindy Kaling-like presence,

kind of Mindy Kaling."

This hits home.

Do you know how many times people -- ugh.

I do, because this is what pops up... Wow.

...over and over and over again.

It's like there's only one person. There's one type.

You could either be Padma Lakshmi or Mindy Kaling.

-Yep. -And there's nothing in between.

Nope. There's nothing in between.

You go to India, and that's all you see --

a bunch of Padma Lakshmis and Mindy Kalings.

But in general,

you can't really count on playing yourself at all.

"Needs to be able to play South Asian,

but open to all ethnicities."

Ouch! That one hurts.

I know. It's like, "How?!

How do you play South Asian

if you're not South Asian?" Right.

I did "Bombay Dreams." Do I need to tell you?

The question for the ages. Yeah.

And lastly, just for fun... Mm-hmm.

...since your character name on "Jessica Jones" is Gillian... Yeah.

...I thought I'd go looking for what the casting world

has to say about other characters named Gillian,

spelled the same way, with a "G." Okay.

And just to make you feel really good,

this is what I came up with.

"Gillian is severely lonely and hunched with depression."

Wow. Read me. Read me, Lynne.

[ Laughing ]

I'm sorry.

It's awful. But it was so funny. Oh, man.

And this is actually the only character

I found spelled that way.

Everything else was, like, Jillian with a "J." Right.

-So,hunched. -We are a special type.

"Think Mindy Kaling,

Something that you've been involved in

that I've watched you be involved in in the industry

is the development of new work. Mm-hmm.

I wonder how you feel

that might be shifting representation

and inclusion in the industry

in terms of new film and television,

just reading new scripts, and new theater. Yeah.

It's not where it should be. You know? Yeah.

That's the thing that I come across every single time.

You know, and it's not just in development.

I see it on social media, you know, with --

there's so many people who are working on new things.

And I see so many -- like every day,

just new project, new concert, new reading, new this.

And I don't see the kind of inclusion

that we see in the world.

You know, I see these casts that are either entirely white,

or they're entirely cis.

There's this notion that trans people

all of a sudden came on the scene,

and all of a sudden we all just want to be stars

because it's such a hot topic now, right?

And the reality is that there are many, many, many of us

who have been in this industry for many, many, many years

and are only getting the visibility now

because the industry is allowing us to have that visibility.

So when I see all of these entirely cis casts, I wonder,

"Was there any thing done to really think about, like,

including trans people in your casts?"

And I most often come across the answer is no.

It's not even a thought to them... Yeah.

...because I think that, particularly in new works,

when people are having their creative teams,

and they're putting their cast together,

they don't think about trans people in a larger aspect,

other than using them

solely in trans roles and trans worlds.

I think the same goes for the disabled community as well... Yeah.

...where you -- there is just this assumption

that all roles have to be able-bodied, and it's --

they don't have to all be cis. No.

They don't have to be able-bodied.

They don't have to be white, you know?

No. Yeah.

Something I talk to a lot of young writers about is

you've got to start at the tiniest,

tiniest beginning of your project --

the little table read you have in your living room... Yeah.

...that you've got to make sure that the room you're in

is inclusive... Is inclusive.

...or else as the project grows -- It won't be.

And you never know where it's gonna grow. Right.

Thank you for having us here today.

I love you. I love you.

Thank you for watching.

Take care of each other, and be professional.

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

"Think Mindy Kaling,

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