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'Lost Girl' Forced To Explain Controversial Episode

Activist group takes issue with how apparent transgendered character is treated

A Canadian series that has found a home in the United States on Syfy, "Lost Girl" is considered one of the most inclusive television series currently on the air. Especially when it comes to the gay, lesbian and bisexual community.

But the show has apparently created some enemies within the transgendered community after a recent episode featured what some say was an attack on a supposed transgendered character.

The Season 3 premiere of the show featured a women's prison that had a warden later revealed to be a man. Once the revelation is met, the warden is violently dragged out of the scene after being forcefully grabbed in the crotch. The warden is said to have survived, but the rest of the characters then refer to the warden as a "he" instead of a "she."

Despite the fact that "Lost Girl" deals with mythical creatures (the warden was actually a shapeshifter), the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation group has demanded answers from the producers of the show ... and got it.

"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 producers said in a statement. "The Warden was only intended to represent this mythic being. We did not intend this character to be seen as a transgendered 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."

GLAAD, however, didn't seem fully impressed with the statement. Matt Kane, associate director of entertainment media, said in response that even if the character was a shapeshifter, the message the show was sending at the end of the episode was clear.

"The Warden being 'discovered' and then viciously attacked is a scenario tragically based in reality, but here is played out for the enjoyment of the audience," Kane said. "It's also evocative of the offensive claim that transgender women are 'tricking' their way into female-only spaces for perverted or criminal purposes."

However, some fans -- even on GLAAD's own page talking about this issue -- in the gay, lesbian and transgendered community are crying out that the organization is being oversensitive. And it's not the first time GLAAD has taken a bit of an unpopular view when it comes to how the transgendered community is portrayed.

In November 2010, GLAAD attacked "Glee," another show that is known for its large inclusion of the gay and lesbian community, for using the word "Tranny" in an episode. The character, however, was simply relaying what his parents had told him, and seemed to be disgusted by the use of the word. However, GLAAD went on the offensive anyway.

GLAAD also took issue with the short-lived ABC series "Work It" a year ago that featured two men dressing up as women simply to improve their job chances. Although the characters did not identify themselves as transgendered, the fact that they were dressing up as women was enough for GLAAD to cry foul.

It's been an interesting stand for GLAAD to take in recent years, especially since its very name doesn't even deem the transgendered community important enough to include it.

The "Lost Girl" producers, however, aren't backing away from the episode.

"'Lost Girl' prides itself on being open and accepting to everyone, and are enthusiastic supporters of the GLBT community," the statement said. "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."

"Lost Girl," which stars Anna Silk, Kris Holden-Ried, Ksenia Solo and Richard Howland, airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Syfy.

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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