Y: The Last Man makes it clear that gender identity exists beyond a male-female binary, giving the original comic series by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra a modern update.
“Gender is diverse and chromosomes are not equal to gender. In the world of the television show every living mammal with a Y chromosome dies – that includes many women, it includes non-binary people, it includes intersex people,” showrunner Eliza Clark explained during the show’s TCA panel on Friday, “We are making a show that affirms that trans women are women, trans men are men, non-binary people are non-binary. That is part of the richness of of the world we get to play with.”
Based on Vaughn and Guerra’s DC Comics series of the same name, Y: The Last Man traverses a post-apocalyptic world in which a cataclysmic event decimates all but one cisgender male, Yorick Brown (Ben Schnetzer), and his pet monkey. The series follows the survivors in this new world as they struggle with their efforts to restore what was lost and the opportunity to build something better.
Clark joined fellow executive producers Nina Jacobson, Mari Jo Winkler-Ioffreda, stars Diane Lane, Schnetzer, Ashley Romans and more to discuss how the series both parallels and strays from the original material. Unlike the original, FX’s upcoming Y: The Last Man challenges the definitions of traditional gender identity and includes transgender and non-binary characters, including Elliot Fletcher’s Sam Jordan.
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“That was part of the challenge because we love the source material on one hand and on the other we recognized the opportunity to really blow up the binary because of the source material we have been given – and the way it’s been read, perceived and talked about,” Jacobson added. “In some ways it’s the most rich and dangerous opportunity to take on some of these questions of representation.”
When asked about his experience on the series, Fletcher, who is a transgender man said that he felt comfortable with the creative team, their knowledge and intentions to move past the “traditional” gender binary. He shared that in the early stages of the show, meeting with Clark and members of the writers room helped him understand that the Y: The Last Man team was fully committed to doing right by the transgender and non-binary communities.
“I think it flips the traditional idea of gender on its head so I was very comfortable joining a project that I knew that and fully committed to it,” he said.
Y: The Last Man debuts on FX on Hulu September 13.
The FX Productions project is produced by Clark, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson of Color Force, along with Nellie Reed. Mari Jo Winkler-Ioffreda, Vaughan and Melina Matsoukas are executive producers.
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