The 8-year-old star will appear in this week’s episode.
Shows such as “Orange is the New Black” and “Nashville” have cast adult transgender actors to play transgender characters. But “Modern Family” newcomer Jackson Millarker, who openly identifies as transgender, is the first child actor to appear in such a role.
Millarker will play Tom, who Aubrey Anderson-Emmons’ character Lily invites over for a playdate. According to Variety, an insult leads to a teachable moment.
Cast member Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays Lily’s father Mitchell, tweeted his excitement about the series’ upcoming episode:
Ryan Case, director of the show, now in its eighth season, also shared her joy ahead of the episode’s debut in a Instagram post (see left).
Millarker’s appearance comes on the heels of “Transparent” star Jeffrey Tambor challenging Hollywood to cast more transgender actors.
“To you people out there, you producers and you network owners and you agents and you creative sparks, please give transgender talent a chance,” Tambor said when he won an Emmy award for his role on the Amazon Studios hit. “Give them auditions. Give them their story. Do that.”