The SyFy series Lost Girl has received some criticism for apparent antitransgender bias in its third-season premiere, and now its producers have released a statement saying no such bias was intended.
In the episode, heroine Bo, who investigates crimes among supernatural beings, is in a prison run by Amazons, the mythical tribe of women warriors, GLAAD reports on its blog. The villainous warden appears to be a woman and claims to be an Amazon but turns out to be biologically male, and the revelation leads the prison guards to attack the warden.
"Whether or not you consider the prison warden to be a transgender character is open to interpretation given that the character is a mythological shapeshifter, but there's no mistaking the scene that takes place out at the end of the episode," GLAAD's blog notes. "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. It's also evocative of the offensive claim that transgender women are 'tricking' their way into female-only spaces for perverted or criminal purposes."
After GLAAD raised the issue, Prodigy Pictures, which produces the series, released a statement saying the warden was intended solely to represent a "mythological shapeshifter known as the Liderc," as all the show's episodic characters are based on established mythology. "We did not intend this character to be seen as a transgender person, we apologize if the character was seen as such," the statement continues. "We do hope that you accept that no comparison or discrimination toward the transgender community was intended by the depiction of this mythological character. Lost Girl prides itself on being open and accepting to everyone, and are enthusiastic supporters of the GLBT community."
GLAAD notes that Lost Girl is a very inclusive show, with strong lesbian and bisexual characters, including Bo, who started a relationship with a woman in the same episode. It also has a large lesbian and bisexual fan base. GLAAD's post closes by expressing hope that the series "will continue to set a good example in future episodes."