Rosario Dawson in Los Angeles. Photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images. 
Rosario Dawson on stage at a "Zombieland 2" Panel and Screening at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images.

A star under suspicion: Are the actress Rosario Dawson and her family transphobic?

The actress and girlfriend of the Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker has been sued by a trans worker over allegation of gender discrimination and…


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They insulted him. They hit him and threatened to kill his cat if he wouldn’t leave the house the family had sub-rented to him. And all of this, the victim assured, because of his genre identity.

This is the serious Dedrek Finley’s allegation, a transgender man who sued the actress Rosario Dawson and her family last weekend in Los Angeles over transphobia and physical and verbal abuse

Finley, who had meet Dawson’s a few years ago in New York at the time he was a lesbian woman, moved to California in order to work as a handyman for the family and “renovate Rosario’s personal residency” in October 2017, while he was going through a gender transition.

Everything was fine until two months later, when the worker informed Rosario and her parents about his new gender condition. According to the plaintiff, from this point on the abuse and humiliation started. 

“The family misgendered him multiple times each day, with deliberate indifference as to the appropriate way to address Mr. Finley,” explained the victim, who added that the Hollywood star and well-known activist for women’s rights, was nothing to correct the situation.

Even more, when Finley, whose name changed to Dredrek, complained about her step-father and her mother behavior, Rosario, ignoring his new identity, claimed: 

“You’re a grown woman.”

However, the harassment took to a new and worrying level a few days later.

On 28th April 2018 the transgender handyman received a text message from the Dawson family asking to leave the house they sub-rented him in North Hollywood. Since he refused to do it, they assaulted him.

Isabel Dawson, Rosario’s mother, dragged Finley out of a window and attacked him:

“Once Mr. Finley was lying on the ground outside, Isabel, who is substantially larger than Mr. Finley, got on top of Mr. Finley’s body and began punching him,” the suit alleges. “While beating Mr. Finley, Isabel screamed, ‘You’re not so much of a man now,’ which was a clear and denigrating reference to Mr. Finley’s gender identity.”

Rosario not only attended the abuse but she helped by sitting on the victim’s body and “actively restraining him while he was on the ground to ensure that her mother could continue battering him.”

Afterward, Isabel Dawson threatened to kill Finley’s cat and stole his mobile telephone where the handyman had recorded previous abuses from the family.

Dedrek Finley’s attorney didn’t get an answer from Rosario or her family as she informed them she was about to take legal action and ask them for economic compensation. They didn’t want to make any statement to the media either, according to NBC.

A polemic activism

Rosario Dawson, Democrat Cory Booker’s girlfriend, is a well-known activist and forerunner of the “Voto Latino” movement.

She also contributed with the foundation of the Lower Eastside Girls Club, a community service for helping women with no economic resources, and participated in many conferences about gender violence.

Una activista comprometida con el "Voto Latino". Foto: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

To what extent can this serious allegation stain the actress’s credibility? Can they affect Booker’s political career as well?

It is not new that artists face accusations and scandals and, though we will still have to see how it ends in the court, Rosario Dawnson’s silence doesn’t benefit a person whose social compromise has been evident and applauded. 

In fact, a few days ago, in the “Zombieland: Double Tap” movie presentation, the actress told Efe:

“Our spirit can easily die if we concentrate too much on the external part.”

That remains to be seen.


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