Amazon's Transparent will soon return to the small screen, and the show's cast and crew are wasting no time in starting their Emmy campaign. Most recently, this meant a panel discussion at the Hollywood Athletic Club in Los Angeles featuring creator Jill Soloway alongide the show's stars Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker, Kathryn Hahn, Alexandra Billings, and Trace Lysette. The takeaway: Transparent is about to get a lot more political.
Mainly, everyone agreed that the responsible thing to do would be to address the rising tide of homophobia in the wake of last year's contentious election. And, you know, the guy in the White House.
Jeffrey Tambor, who's won two Emmys for his work as Maura Pfefferman, gave the money quote.
“You go to work with a mission statement, as we do, to reflect on people’s lives and anxieties, and trying to connect with them,” Tambor said. “I think one of the things I like most about what we do is that people trust us. We’re not messing around — this is a real family, and these are the lessons we’re telling.”
By the very nature of its subject, Transparent has always had to be political. When you're the first to tackle a subject like a person transitioning in an extensive way, you're taking on a lot of responsibilities with representation and respect. The cast, for what it's worth, also haven't shied away from taking real stands. The way into making political statements is to strive for empathy and connection with the characters. Like, The Fountainhead is not only poorly written and also just wrong, but beloved by many because Ayn Rand did a great job getting Howard Roark right.