A Canadian production of the Shrek musical has chosen to change its script following a complaint over the repeated use of the word ‘tranny’.
A transgender man, Ky Greyson, told news sources that he walked out of a showing of the production when the character of the Big Bad Wolf called out the word after he puts on a dress, to the laughter of the audience. The play continued to use the word several more times.
‘It was a really good production, but I remember hearing the word used and the entire crowd burst out laughing and my heart just dropped,’ Greyson said, speaking about his experience with CBC News. ‘There were very dehumanising jokes with regards to not conforming to gender roles and being a masculine person femininely.’
‘If we’re teaching kids in the audience that if this is okay to be mocked, this is to be ridiculed, we’re perpetuating self-hate in people who may be trans women or trans feminine people at a young age and also continuing the myth and misunderstanding of what trans people are.’
Gay Star News claims to have contacted the PR team for the UK tour of Shrek The Musical and were told that the production has never received a complaint regarding the use of the word tranny. They also said that there were ‘no major script changes in the adaptation from the original Broadway production’.
Neptune Theatre, where the production in question was showing, have expressed their apologies for using the word and have released the following statement.
‘We were upset to learn that one of our productions created feelings of distress amongst members of the LGBTQ community in Halifax and changes were made immediately to remove content once we became aware of the situation. Neptune has spoken and met with those members of the LGBTQ community to express our apologies and to learn from this experience.’