Jared Leto was heckled at the Santa Barbara Film Festival’s Virtuosos Awards on Tuesday after accepting an award for his portrayal of transgender AIDS patient “Rayon” in Dallas Buyers Club. He was walking back to his seat when a woman, who according to eyewitnesses appeared to be a transgender woman, yelled out: “You don’t deserve an award. Trans misogyny does not deserve an award!” Jared took it in stride, asking the heckler to explain. “You’re a man,” she yelled. “You shouldn’t play a transgendered role!” Jared, who has also won a Golden Globe for his performance and is nominated for an Academy Award, calmly asked her whether gay actors could play straight roles, but rather than answering the question, she complained that straight actors often win awards for playing transgendered people.
He replied, “Then you’ve made sure people that are gay, people that aren’t straight, people like the ‘Rayons’ of the world would never have the opportunity to turn the tables and explore parts of that art.” The audience applauded and Jared then offered to speak to the heckler after the event during an interview in which the award recipients talk to the audience, saying, “The door is open.”