Halle Berry has now pulled out of a role in an upcoming film in which she’d play a transgender man after facing backlash online.
In an Instagram live interview on Friday, the actor said she had been preparing for the role, but had not been officially cast.
“[It’s] a character where the woman is a trans character, so she’s a woman that transitioned into a man. She’s a character in a project I love that I might be doing.”
She added that she wanted to take a
“deep dive” into “that world.”
However, Berry faced backlash online after misgendering the character multiple times during the interview.
“Who this woman was is so interesting to me, and that will probably be my next project.
“Over the weekend I had the opportunity to discuss my consideration of an upcoming role as a transgender man, and I’d like to apologize for those remarks. As a cisgender woman, I now understand that I should not have considered this role, and that the transgender community should undeniably have the opportunity to tell their own stories
I am grateful for the guidance and critical conversation over the past few days and will continue to listen, educate and learn from this mistake. I vow to be an ally in using my voice to promote better representation on-screen, both in front of and behind the camera.”
Berry’s comments caught the attention of the Twitter account for the Netflix documentary Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen, which was released last month and examines Hollywood’s portrayal of transgender people and their stories.
The doc’s account asked that Berry watch the film to
“understand how cis actors like yourself acting in trans roles has major cultural consequences offscreen.”
After Berry’s apology, the account thanked her for
“listening and learning.”
The LGBTQ rights organization GLAAD also responded, saying
“We are pleased that Halle Berry listened to the concerns of transgender people and learned from them. Other powerful people should do the same. A good place to start is by watching ‘Disclosure’ to learn about trans representation in media.”
In recent years, cisgender actors have faced controversy over playing transgender characters. In 2018, Scarlett Johansson was cast as a transgender character in the film Rub and Tug, drawing the ire of trans rights groups and activists. A week later, she quit the role.
Listen & learn, not judge, is something we all could do a lot more of…
(Photo, Avalon; via Variety)