Petition Closed

In the movie The Hangover: Part II, the character of Stu discovers he has had sexual relations with a trans-woman.   The joke of the scene is the reveal of a stripper as a pre-op M2F trans-person.   The joke is not only lacking humor, it is offensive to the trans-community.   The joke only works when it taps into the negative perception that trans-people are "gross", "weird", and sexually undesirable.  In the film, the characters continuously try to block the experience from their mind, unsuccessfully as the character of Alan keeps mentioning references to the experience.  As a trans woman said to me in response to the movie:  "It was one of the first times in a major motion picture I saw a body like mine on the screen.  And it was met with laughter and disgust.  And that hurt me.  It is completely offensive to me."

This letter is to the CEO of Warner Bros, Barry M. Meyer, and Susan Fleishman, VP of Communications, demanding an apology from Warner Bros.  This type of joke at the expense of the trans-community, treating trans-people like objects of the sex industry, prohibits the awareness that trans-people are members of society who contribute in all sorts of ways, and have healthy, loving lives with partners.  The trans-community should be respected, because it has been a struggle to receive respect.

Letter to
Edward Romano
Kevin Tsujihara
Gary Credle
and 14 others
Alan Horn
Dan Fellman
Bruce Rosenblum
Debra Baker
Darcy Antonellis
Jeff Robinov
CEO, Warner Bros. Barry M. Meyer
Press Inquiry for Feature Films Jessica Zacholl
VP of Communications, Warner Bros. Susan Fleishman
Chris Cookson
Doug Frank
Polly Cohen
John Shulman
Richard Fox
The trans community, and supporters of the community, demand an apology and future consideration for films your company considers producing for your use of a trans-woman in The Hangover Part II.
In your movie, The Hangover: Part II, the character of Stu discovers in his drunken, drug-fueled misadventures, he has had sexual intercourse with a trans-woman stripper. This is followed up with full frontal nude shots of both this trans-actress as well as another trans-woman passing by. A good joke touches on universal truths that people find funny. This "joke", in order to be successful, must tap into the disgust society has for the trans-community. People who laugh at it consider members of this community to be "weird", sexually unappealing, and even "gross." The characters in the movie have the same reaction. It is something that causes emotional distress for the characters in the film. Stu and the other characters try desperately to forget about the experience (but it is brought back by the character of Alan throughout the movie). Sometimes, situations are parodied to bring attention to an issue. Does The Hangover sequel bring light to an issue? It certainly is not clamoring for equal rights for the trans-community. It makes a quick, cheap joke, and to the very end considers being with a trans-person a dark, evil thing (as demonstrated by Stu's insistence that he "has a demon in him"). The trans-community has enough problems being seen as equals in society as it is. It is a struggle to avoid being beaten in McDonalds just for using a bathroom, it is a struggle to be seen as productive citizens rather than objects in the sex industry. The trans community demands respect.
This is why it is imperative and non-negotiable that Warner Bros. offers an apology to the entire trans-community for cheaply using a stereotype about them that is both hurtful and only reinforces negative perceptions of what it means to be trans. This type of joke at the expense of the trans-community, treating trans-people like objects of the sex industry, prohibits the awareness that trans-people are members of society who contribute in all sorts of ways, and have healthy, loving lives with partners. The trans-community should be respected in film, because it has been a struggle to receive such respect in the first place.