Culture

Is Media Fix In on Transgender Laverne Cox's 'Rocky Horror' Reboot?

We just got our first glimpse of the TV update on “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” And glimpse is truly the best way to describe it.

Yet that sneak peek suggests how the media will report on the Fall 2016 project.

The 30-second teaser shows us a few of the FOX production’s key players. Brad (Ryan McCartan). Janet (Victoria Justice). Riff Raff (Reeve Carney). The project is based on the 1975 cult smash starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Meatloaf.

Oh, and “Orange Is the New Black” co-star Laverne Cox plays the new Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the role Curry made famous. That’s where things get interesting …and where the media will likely focus for the next few months.

https://youtu.be/outmDIi29Bo

Cox is a transgender actress, arguably the most prominent trans performer in Hollywood. She’s a sharp presence on her Netflix series. Now, she’s starting to get more gigs.

Can’t blame an actress for striking while the career iron is hot. But look at how Rolling Stone captures the oh-so-short trailer. The music site calls the trailer-ette “thrilling.”

The brief trailer gives more than enough of an introduction to Cox’s faithful take on Curry’s Frank-N-Furter, nailing the character’s seductive, dramatic accent.

Faithful take? We’ve seen about seven seconds of Cox on screen. Thrilling? Only if you spent a thousand hours attending “Rocky Horror Picture Show” screenings as a teen.

What gives? The media fix could be in. We’ve seen it before. Heck, we’re seeing it right now.

Supposedly unbiased media outlets are doing all they can to protect and promote the all-female “Ghostbusters” reboot. The public officially despised the upcoming film’s first trailer, and the just-released second trailer is only marginally better.

Some are grumpy that the new film turns the all-male cast into four female Ghostbusters. Others simply fear the movie will tinker with a beloved childhood feature. The rest fear a bloated, misguided attempt to restart a franchise.

Yet the media’s meme is clear — if you don’t like the movie, you’re a sexist jerk. Just ask The Washington Post, the paper that broke the Watergate scandal wide open.

Wired.com just published a lengthy piece defending the film and not-so-subtly making the same arguments against those who didn’t like the film’s trailers.

So how does that tie into Cox’s new gig?

“Ghostbusters” arrives at a time when we understand the gender disparity problem in Hollywood. It’s not a liberal talking point. It’s reality. So a film starring four women that could rock the box office becomes a project worth the media’s attention …and protection.

A similar sentiment connects that film to the “Rocky” reboot. The press may actively cheer on both Cox and the film itself. Transgender politics is a media cause celebre, and Cox is its current face.

So don’t be surprised to see more fawning press over “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” up until the TV movie’s Fall debut.