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Baby Reindeer star Richard Gadd investigated for dating trans actress who auditioned for show

Baby Reindeer star Richard Gadd investigated for dating trans actress who auditioned for show

Baby Reindeer lead Richard Gadd netflix show
Netflix

Reece Lyons, a trans actress, has come forward saying that she was asked to audition for a role in the hit Netflix series, but it came at the same time she was asked out by the show's creator.

Netflix's Baby Reindeer has been one of the surprise hits of the year, with fans loving its emotional honesty and vulnerability, dark humor, and complex and rich trans storyline.

The show, based on comedian Richard Gadd's real life, shows him dealing with a stalker while he is dating a trans woman named Teri, based on one of his real-life ex-girlfriends.

In the show, Gadd's character at first hides the fact that he's dating a trans woman and refuses to go out in public with her or defend her, but their dynamic grows and shifts, and in the end, it's a great and nuanced trans role terrifically played by Nava Mau.

However, recently, another trans actress has come forward saying that she was also asked to audition for the role, but it came at the same time she was asked out by the show's creator.

Reece Lyons, a trans actress, tweeted about her experience with Gadd, but did not name him.

"He began to tell me about his upcoming Netflix show that he had written. The role in question was that of his ex-girlfriend, a trans woman. 'I didn't treat her the best,' he said. I wondered what that meant," she wrote in a posted on X (formerly Twitter) about their initial meeting after one of her shows at a bar.

When Lyons said she'd like to audition for the role and gave him her agent's contact information, Gadd admitted that he found her attractive and wanted to date her.

Lyons said she felt troubled by the idea that she was meant to audition to play his trans ex-girlfriend that he had mistreated and also date him in real life at the same time, but continued to talk to him.

When she suggested that he might be fetishing trans women, Lyons says that Gadd was "highly defensive and dismissive."

"I said that I didn’t think the conflation of the upcoming audition and dating each other at the same time was wise, and he said that he understood," she tweeted. "But two weeks later, he spontaneously called me and said that he wanted to try dating again."

Lyons wrote that she was afraid if she said no, she wouldn't get the chance to audition, so she accepted. The two went on four dates between October and November 2021, and broke up in December. Once Lyons auditioned in March 2022, she was told that Netflix had chosen someone else. While Gadd gave feedback to production on audition tapes, he did not have ultimate approval in the casting process.

After clarifying that she was not in any way a victim of abuse in the relationship, she closed out with a message to young actors: "If you are ever involved in a casting process where somebody is simultaneously conflating a work opportunity with a dating dynamic, set boundaries. If they disrespect your boundaries, or attempt to persuade you to alter them after you have set them, then please tell somebody."

Clerkenwell Films, which produced the series, investigated Lyons' claims and decided that "casting decisions were not compromised" and Gadd behaved professionally.

Baby Reindeer is streaming on Netflix.

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Mey Rude

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.