Laverne Cox has called her starring role as Frank N. Furter in Fox’s upcoming Rocky Horror Picture Show remake “an honor,” but revealed she had one tiny hesitation before accepting it.
“The only apprehension I really had about doing the film was the term transvestite,” Cox told reporters at Variety’s Power of Women Luncheon on Saturday.
The original 1975 film includes the words “transvestite” and “transsexual” throughout to describe Frank N. Furter as well as other people and places.
Today neither term is included on GLAAD’s “Terms To Avoid” list, though both are considered outdated and offensive to some members of the transgender community.
“I’ve been telling people, ‘Please do not go up to a transgender person in 2016 and call them a transvestite, that is an antiquated term,’” Cox said. “But in 1975 when Rocky Horror Picture Show came out transvestite meant a very different thing.”
She added: “We don’t use that term anymore, but in the historical context of Rocky Horror it’s appropriate you don’t change the words to an iconic song.”
You can hear the full version of Cox’s “Sweet Transvestite” below. The Rocky Horror Picture Show airs this Thursday, October 20 at 8/7 on Fox.