The filmmakers behind the Netflix documentary “Disclosure” were presented with an official proclamation from the City of West Hollywood by Mayor Lindsey Horvath on Wednesday night. Director Sam Feder and executive producer Laverne Cox received the honor during the City of West Hollywood’s Human Right Speakers series.
In addition to Feder and Cox, other panelists included Drian Juarez, the vice president of TransCanWork and vice president of the City of West Hollywood Transgender advisory board. The free virtual discussion was moderated by newly elected City Council member John Erickson.
The proclamation formally recognized “Disclosure” for its significant contributions to the transgender community. After the honor was presented, panelists engaged in an hourlong conversation discussing the mentoring model behind the documentary, which prioritized hiring trans people for their production crew. In the case where the filmmakers were unable to hire a trans person for a specific position, the non-trans person hired would serve as a mentor to an emerging trans filmmaker. The panelists also discussed various ways to improve trans representation moving forward.
Feder said that the goal of making this documentary was to reach individuals and take them through a process where they might leave the film with a new perspective on the way transgender people have been represented in Hollywood.
“They would confront some of their biases, some things that they had internalized, whether trans or not, and start to look at all of these decades of information that they’ve perhaps passively ingested and start to actively interrogate it,” Feder said.
“Disclosure” premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and is now available on Netflix. The documentary examines the depictions of transgender people in film and television, revealing how Hollywood simultaneously reflects and constructs society’s deepest anxieties revolving around gender. Leading transgender thinkers and creatives, including Laverne Cox, Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, MJ Rodriguez, Jamie Clayton and Chaz Bono shared their reactions and criticism towards some of Hollywood’s most beloved moments.
Watch the full conversation below.