UPDATED 7/6, 10:20 p.m. ET: Halle Berry has responded to the backlash she's received over considering to play the role of a trans man in an upcoming move and said she will not be taking the part.
“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," Berry wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. "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,” she wrote. “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.”
See original story below.
Members of the trans community are calling out Halle Berry for comments she made during a recent Instagram Live interview.
During the interview with hairstylist Christin Brown, Berry discusses her preparation for a role to portray a trans man. The role was apparently put on the back burner as Berry worked on her 2020 directorial debut Bruised.
“[It’s] a character where the woman is a trans character, so she’s a woman that transitioned into a man,” Berry says, as first reported by queer news site Pink News. “She’s a character in a project I love that I might be doing.”
Immediately, critics are quick to point out Berry’s misgendering of the character she may potentially portray.
“I want to experience that world, understand that world. I want to deep dive in that in the way I did Bruised,” Berry continues. “Who this woman was is so interesting to me, and that will probably be my next project, and that will require me cutting all of my hair off.”
Berry joins a long list of actors and actresses who have chosen to portray trans characters, rather than giving the role and platform to actual trans performers. While Berry may have good intentions, misgendering the character and sharing vouyeuristic views about trans identity is...really bad.
“That’s what I want to experience and understand and study and explore,” Berry also says, before implying that the story of a trans man is a “female story.” “It’s really important to me to tell stories, and that’s a woman, that’s a female story – it changes to a man, but I want to understand the why and how of that. I want to get into it.”
People are calling on Berry to step down from the role and watch Netflix’s new documentary Disclosure, which gives an in-depth history into performances of trans people in Hollywood.
Listen to Berry’s comments below beginning at the 36-minute mark.