Modern Family has become the first TV show to cast an openly transgender child actor.
Eight-year-old Jackson Millarker will appear in Wednesday’s (28Sep16) episode as Tom, a friend of Lily Tucker-Pritchett, played by Aubrey Anderson-Emmons.
Lily is the daughter of same-sex couple Cam Tucker, played by Eric Stonestreet, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson's lawyer Mitchell Pritchett.
In the episode titled A Stereotypical Day, Lily invites Tom over for a play date. A partial synopsis from the show's network ABC was released which reads, "Cam and Mitchell have always felt they were the most open, non-judgmental and supportive parents. However, when they overhear Lily insulting her new friend, they have to take a quick look in the mirror before they teach her a lesson about acceptance."
Ryan Case, who directed the episode, posted a shot of herself with Millarker on Instagram. "This is Jackson Millarker,” she captioned the snap on Monday (26Sep16). "He’s 8 years old, from Atlanta, and just happens to be transgender. He plays Lily’s friend Tom in this week’s Modern Family and he’s wonderful. One of the many reasons I love being a part of this show."
Other TV shows with transgender characters played by transgender actors include Laverne Cox's Sophia Burset in Orange Is The New Black, and Jen Richards on Nashville.
Modern Family, which stars Ed O'Neill, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell, has won 22 Emmy Awards since its debut in September, 2009, and is currently in its eighth season.
Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9pm on ABC.