Transgender focused TV series ‘Butterfly’ airs on SBS

The critically acclaimed TV series Butterfly comes to SBS television this week. The three part series tells the story of eleven-year-old Maxine, who is transgender, and how her parents Vicky and Stephen react when they discover that their son wants to be a girl.

The show aired in the UK last year and received a mix of praise and criticism. The show’s writer, playwright Tony Marchant, said he had two goals in mind when he set out to create the series. Firstly that people choose to be transgender because it’s “trendy” and secondly to dispel the myth that it’s easy for people to access puberty blockers.

The show was criticised for scenes depicting mental health challenges and suicide ideation, as well as the high level of flashback used within the narrative.

Maxine’s parents are played by Anna Friel and Emmett John Scanlan. Friel is best known for her leading role in the detective series Marcella, and the film Rogue Trader. She first came to prominence on the 1990’s UK soap opera Brookside where she featured in the first lesbian kiss to air on British television in the early evening. Scanlan previously appeared in The Fall and Guardians of the Galaxy. 

The role of Maxine is played by young actor Callum Booth-Ford who is cisgender. The producers considered casting a trans-actor in the role but were advised that it was potentially too distressing a role for a young transgender actor to play.

Butterfly screens on Wednesday, 9 January at 9.45pm on SBS

OIP Staff

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