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'Little' Cowriter Says She Didn't Write The Film's Transphobic Joke

Screenwriter Tracy Y. Oliver responded to criticism about a transphobic joke that appeared in the movie, starring Marsai Martin
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 13: Writer Tracy Oliver arrives at the Variety's Power Of Women: Los Angeles at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 13, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
By Paula Rogo · April 23, 2019

Little co-writer Tracy Y. Oliver is speaking out against a transphobic joke that appeared in her movie, starring Marsai Martin, Issa Rae and Regina Hall.

Oliver co-wrote the screenplay with the film’s director Tina Gordon, telling the story of an overbearing boss who is transformed into the kid version of herself. 

But moviegoers have complained about a specific scene when Regina Hall’s character Jordan bites back at a mother, who had criticized for making out with her boyfriend in public. Jordan insists that the woman’s daughter was a boy. When the woman pushes back that her child is, in fact, a girl, Jordan responds by saying, “Oh, he’s transitioning?” 

Oliver wrote she was forced to respond Monday. 

“As a feature writer, when you hand your draft(s) into the studio, you have no control over what ends up on screen. Often, you’re elated. Other times, you’re disappointed. I did not write that particular joke and was disappointed to see it. It was insensitive and unnecessary,“ she wrote on Twitter in response to a fan comment. 

She added, ”It was disheartening and mean spirited. I’ve been wrestling with speaking up or not, but I had to. That joke doesn’t represent who I am at all.“ 

Lena Waithe, who is an LGBTQ advocate and member of the community, also stepped into the Twitter conversation to defend Oliver. 

“That can happen on TV shows too,” Waithe wrote.”Tracy is an ally – and would never attack any group of people.” 

Oliver responded: “Thank you, Lena. I sure as hell try to be an ally.”