“When ‘your truth’ trumps ‘the truth’ and forces me to pretend that it’s not a lie, we have a very real problem.”
Those are the words of Natasha Ward, an actor on the Disney-owned ABC series “Station 19.” She shared the comment on a story posted to her Instagram account, defending biological women amid the debate over the transgender movement.
“Supporting trans freedom,” she wrote, “does not mean it’s OK to violate the rights of biological women.”
Natasha Ward, an actress on Disney-ABC show Station 19, and a former athlete, has posted "We need to have this conversation" about males in women's sports. It resulted in online abuse and calls for her to be sacked, so other actors and producers on the show have ... condemned her pic.twitter.com/WP4sCFK1lC
— ripx4nutmeg (@ripx4nutmeg) March 23, 2022
“Pretending that trans women are not men who have a biological advantage, and therefore place an undue burden on biological women, is make-believe and it is not science nor fact,” Ward continued, later adding, “In the long run, women will have to take illegal substances in order to beat men ‘identifying’ as women in women’s sports.”
The “Station 19” actor published the social media post as debate has ensued over University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, a biological man who identifies as a transgender woman. Late last week, Thomas beat two biological women — one of whom is an Olympic silver medalist from Florida — in the 500-yard freestyle event of the Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships.
Thomas’ victory over two bonafide women caused such an uproar Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued a proclamation Tuesday naming Sarasota native Emma Weyant, who finished a second and a half after Thomas, the true winner.
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To that end, Ward asserted the push to embrace biological men who identify as women as true women will result in “pushing women out of the upper echelons of elite sports entirely as we biologically cannot compete apart from enhanced substances, forcing women to endanger their health.”
“That is science,” she wrote on her Instagram account, which she has since made private. “That is fact. Your truth is not the truth and, when it infringes upon fact and places an undue burden, which displaces my rights, we have gone too far.”
Ward, it should be noted, is taking a similar position to that voiced by “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, who sparked a firestorm in the summer of 2020, when she tweeted, “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased.”
What was the response?
Rather than garner support for her brave, countercultural stance, Ward was swiftly rebuked by her “Station 19” co-stars, several of whom posted their criticisms to social media.
Actors Paris Barclay, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Shane Hartline, and Barrett Doss all rebuked Ward on Twitter.
“There’s [two] sides to this argument,” wrote Barclay. “The side of love, understanding, empathy, [and] support. And the side of bigotry, ignorance, misinformation, [and] transphobia. Ms. Natasha Ward, you are on the wrong side.”
#station19 is a fictional place, but I’m a real person so I’ll comment. There’s 2 sides to this argument: the side of love, understanding, empathy, & support. And the side of bigotry, ignorance, misinformation, & transphobia. Ms. #natashaward, you are on the wrong side. https://t.co/5lmEKJUhDq
— Paris Barclay (@Harparbar) March 22, 2022
Ortiz, like Barclay, accused Ward of “transphobia.”
3 random things that I think are super lame: transphobia, queerbaiting, and Rachel Zegler not getting invited to the Oscars.
— Jaina Lee Ortiz (@JainaLeeOrtiz) March 21, 2022
Hartline indirectly condemned Ward by writing he is a “trans ally” who doesn’t “support anything that believes they [transgender people] don’t deserve the same rights as everyone else does.”
I am a Trans ally. I have loved ones that are transgender and I don’t support anything that believes they don’t deserve the same things everyone else does. #TransRightsAreHumanRights
— SHANE HARTLINE (@ShaneHartline) March 21, 2022
Similarly, Doss quotes “Pose” writer Janet Mock, who is transgender, when she described transgender women as “heroines.”
— Barrett Doss (@barrett_doss) March 21, 2022
All of this comes as the Walt Disney Company has vociferously condemned Florida’s Parental Rights in Education legislation, which has been intentionally mischaracterized by the left and members of the news media as the “Don’t Say Gay bill.”
Disney CEO Bob Chapek initially tried to stay out of the political fight over the bill, which simply prohibits classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation from pre-K through third grade, but after intense internal backlash from LGBTQ employees and pressure from journalists who misrepresented the Florida legislation, he gave in and announced the family-centered entertainment brand’s opposition to the bill.
And despite polling showing the majority of Americans dislike Disney’s condemnation of the legislation, the brand is doubling and tripling down on it, even claiming its position is rooted in “family values.”
“Disney Parks, Experiences and Products is committed to creating experiences that support family values for every family, and will not stand for discrimination in any form,” read a statement posted to Disney’s social media accounts Tuesday. “We oppose any legislation that infringes on basic human rights, and stand in solidarity and support our LGBTQIA+ cast, crew, and Imagineers and fans who make their voices heard today and every day.”
Furthermore, the Walt Disney Company reportedly plans to lobby against a directive handed down by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to label so-called sex reassignment surgeries and treatments on minors as “child abuse.”
Paul Richardson, chief human resources officer for Disney, reportedly said the company is planning to “take action” against Abbott’s order, saying during an all-staff meeting Monday, “Because of our presence in Texas, we want you to know that we’ve signed on to the Human Rights Campaign’s letter opposing the Texas bill that criminalizes parents who provide for their transgender children gender-affirming care.”
Faithwire’s parent company, CBN News, has reached out to Disney for comment.
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