Halle Berry Backs Out of Role as Transgender Man After Backlash

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 21: Actor Halle Berry attends the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guil
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner

Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry has apologized for considering playing the role of a transgender character in an upcoming film. The actress, who faced fire after disclosing in an interview that she would “probably” play a transgender man, now says she’s won’t audition for the part because she wants “to be an ally.”

“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.,” said Berry in a statement posted to Twitter on Monday. “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 I will continue to listen, educate and learn from this mistake,” said the X-Men star. “I vow to be an ally in using my voice to promote better representation on-screen, both in front of and behind the camera.”

Over the weekend, the actress disclosed during an Instagram Live interview that she would “probably” play a transgender man in her next film role, according to a report by the Hollywood Reporter. “[The film is about] a character where the woman is a trans character, so she’s a woman that transitioned into a man,” Berry said in the interview with hairstylist Christin Brown. “She’s a character in a project I love that I might be doing.”

Berry’s comments, however, caused the Catwoman star to receive a wave of backlash on social media, prompting the Berry to reconsider her decision. The report added that Berry was also criticized for repeatedly “misgender[ing]” the character she was set to play in the interview.

“Hey @halleberry, Trans men are men,” said one Twitter user. “A story about them is not ‘a female story.’ Trans men are not an ‘it’ or ‘she.’ You are not a man. You are not trans. You playing this role perpetuates mindsets that get trans people murdered. Drop the role.”

“Please fight for us, not against us,” added transgender actor Jamie Clayton, along with the hashtag, #TransIsBeautiful.

“Halle Berry should NOT be playing a trans man,” said another user on Twitter, who identifies as a “very exasperated trans man.”

“i don’t think halle berry is some horrible transphobe. i think she’s an example of why trans people should play trans people,” added another individual. “we understand our own experiences better than cis ppl can and can navigate tricky language situations that cis ppl might flub from inexperience.”

On Monday night, Berry announced that she would no longer be considering the role.

“We are pleased that @halleberry listened to the concerns of transgender people and learned from them,” reacted GLAAD, a monitoring organization founded by LGBT people in the media. “Other powerful people should do the same.”

Not everyone, however, appeared to be completely satisfied, as they demanded more apologies and suggested that Berry still has more to learn.

“Misgendering a trans man and insisting that was a trans man is a ‘female story’ not only almost put a HUGE dent to your career. It also hurt a lot of fellow trans men’s experiences, as much as it hurt my experiences as a trans woman,” said one individual. “I’m glad you listened and I hope you’ll learn.”

“I appreciate your acknowledgement of this, but you should also apologize for referring to a trans man with she/her pronouns and it pronouns, and for calling a story about a trans man a female story,” added another. “Those are dangerous remarks to make and to not acknowledge that is upsetting.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.


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