Halle Berry Steps Back from Film Role as Trans Man, Vows to Be an Ally
Halle Berry sent out a statement to fans indicating she’d no longer be considering a role in an upcoming film where she would have played a transgender man.
"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," she tweeted and posted on Instagram on Monday.
The 53-year-old added that she was “grateful for the guidance and critical conversation over the past few days and [she] 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,” she concluded.
Berry’s note came after she discussed the potential role over the weekend in an Instagram Live with hairstylist Christin Brown. Of the film role she was considering, Berry said: "[The role is] 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."
Those words prompted backlash from the trans community and allies, who insisted the role should be played by an actual trans man. Berry was also criticized for using the wrong pronouns to describe the character in the conversation.
In response to Berry’s message on social media, many thanked her for apologizing and listening. One person specifically thanked her for “learning and providing opportunities for trans folks to have this role,” and another suggested that “this be a wonderful learning opportunity!”
That Netflix documentary suggested in the second tweet, Disclosure, examines how trans people are depicted in film and television and was released this year. As per the film's website, it indicates that "80% of the population have never met a transgender person" so "all they know is rooted in media depictions, which are predominantly problematic and have rarely included participation by actual trans people." The film is "aimed at that 80%."