Laverne Cox has earned tons of accolades — including a recent Emmy nomination for her role as Sophia Burset on Netflix's hit series Orange Is the New Black — but someone that works on Capitol Hill isn't her biggest fan.
According to the Twitter feed @congress-edits, "a bot that tweets anonymous Wikipedia edits that are made from IP addresses in the US Congress," someone who works in a U.S. House of Representatives office made a transphobic change to the show's Wiki page on Tuesday night that was disparaging to Cox.
Orange Is the New Black Wikipedia article edited anonymously from US House of Representatives http://t.co/dIeJefU2KV— congress-edits (@congressedits) August 20, 2014
The change to the text read, "Laura Prepon and Yael Stone were next to join the series, along with Laverne Cox, as Sophia Burset, a transgender character. 'The Advocate' touted that Orange Is the New Black contains the first ever women-in-prison narrative to be played by a real man pretending to be a woman."
The text formerly read, "Laura Prepon and Yael Stone were next to join the series along with Laverne Cox, as Sophia Burset, a transgender character. 'The Advocate' touted that Orange Is the New Black contains the first ever women-in-prison narrative to be played by a real transgender woman."
The change also hyperlinked to a conservative article from May in the National Review that claimed "sex is a biological reality" and that "Regardless of the question of whether he has had his genitals amputated, Cox is not a woman, but an effigy of a woman." Since Cox lives her life as a woman, the change is considered highly insulting.
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"It's chilling to think that this dangerous misinformation about transgender Americans could be coming from our nation's Capitol," said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. "At a time when transgender people still face horrific rates of violence, trailblazers like Laverne Cox are helping millions understand that ignorance like this can have life-threatening consequences."
A spokesperson for the non-partisan administrative office for the U.S. House of Representatives told Yahoo they could not identify the source of the tweet due to security policy. We also reached out to Cox's publicist and agent for comment, but haven't yet heard back.
The text on the Orange Is the New Black Wikipedia page has since been updated yet again to read, "Laura Prepon and Yael Stone were next to join the series, along with Laverne Cox, an African-American transgender woman, as Sophia Burset, a transgender character. The Advocate touted that Orange Is the New Black contains the first ever women-in-prison narrative to be played by a real transgender woman."
Cox has become somewhat of an icon in the transgender community. In May (the day before The National Review article was published), she appeared on the cover of Time magazine in a story titled "The Transgender Tipping Point."
In June, Cox appeared on Katie Couric's talk show for a second time, to have what Couric called a "teachable moment," following an appearance in January in which Cox had felt insulted by the host's line of questioning about her genitalia.