“Trans-misogyny does not deserve an award,” a woman from the audience shouted after Leto accepted one of the night’s Virtuosos Awards, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“You’re a man,” the heckler, who The Wrap reports appeared to be a transgendered woman, continued. “You shouldn’t play a transgendered role!”
And what Leto said afterwards was like a page out of a well-scripted movie.
“Because I’m a man, I don’t deserve to play that part?” Leto asked his heckler, rhetorically. “So you would hold a role against someone who happened to be gay or lesbian – they can’t play a straight part?”
The heckler then clarified that straight people always play transgendered characters and receive awards for it. Leto, who portrayed transgender AIDS patient Rayon, has already won Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe and SAG awards for his role.
“Then you’ve made sure people that are gay, people that aren’t straight, people like the Rayons of the world would never have the opportunity to turn the tables and explore parts of that art,” Leto argued before the audience erupted in big applause.
“The door is open,” the actor continued, inviting her backstage to talk. According to The Wrap, Leto had a “heart-to-heart” with the woman and her friend for fifteen minutes, in which they finished their discussion.
Someone just give the man his Oscar already.