Friday, July 29, 2016

Out Actor BD Wong Talks 'Mr. Robot' and Diverse Representations on TV

USA's wildly popular series "Mr. Robot" explores the worlds of hackers and major corporations - and what happens when the two mix. Rami Malek stars as Elliott Alderson, a young programmer who works for a large corporation by day and an underground hacker group at night. But BD Wong, who plays transgender hacker, steals the show in the second-half of the first season.

NBC OUT chatted with Wong over email about the hit show, its upcoming second season and diverse representation in television.

NBC OUT: What more can be done in terms of increased representation in terms of sexuality, gender identity and ethnicity in television and film?

BD Wong: This is one of those things like a lot of things, where Education is Queen. A couple decades ago, people didn't even really know about all the stuff we are talking about a little more now, stuff like "culturally re-appropriating" roles or "whitewashing," so that indicates small steps forward. Really, the more some topic of questionable taste or integrity or exclusion becomes household language, the closer it can get to being eradicated. So we keep talking about these supposedly marginal issues until the point when your average Joanne is talking about them around the dinner table, and that's when you will see some progress. Because it's the ignorance about these things that keeps the topics in the dark and the ignorance about the topics keeps any hope of change at bay: How can we ever expect change to occur on any given issue if we don't even know that issue exists? For example, the only hope for saving lives through gun control is constantly pointing out how guns are creating widespread harm before our very eyes, but look how hard even that point is to make even when we have tons of examples. But it's still the right thing to do, to keep citing these examples.