Memento star Guy Pearce has issued a lengthy apology for a tweet in which he commented about transgender actors and the types of roles they should or should not play.
After provoking heated online debate, Pearce removed the tweet and posted a mea culpa, calling his comments “insensitive” and apologizing for focusing on “one already harassed minority.” He also confessed to his “‘Full House’ of privilege.”
In his deleted tweet, which was posted Monday, the actor addressed the woke Hollywood trend of casting only LGBTQ actors in LGBTQ roles.
“A question – if the only people allowed to play trans characters r trans folk, then r we also suggesting the only people trans folk can play r trans characters. Surely that will limit ur career as an actor? Isn’t the point of an actor to be able play anyone outside ur own world?”
Pearce later apologized, saying he deleted the tweet “to prevent upsetting anyone else.” He also offered his “sincere apologies for crassly focussing on just one already harassed minority.”
I posted a tweet yesterday that I shouldn’t have, which to prevent upsetting anyone else I have now deleted. A fuller apology and explanation of the point I was raising is attached xx Guy pic.twitter.com/bu1vLQcPFm
— Guy Pearce (@TheGuyPearce) March 28, 2023
Pearce said his question was “insensitive” and that his point was about “defending the definition of acting and nothing more.”
“Throwing the subject onto one minority group in particular was unnecessary, especially from a man like me, with a ‘Full House’ of privilege,” he added.
In his apology, Pearce invoked his role in the 1994 Australian comedy The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, in which he played a drag queen. He said numerous people over the years have asked if his role should have been played by an actual gay man.
“Similar discussions are occurring about trans actors and trans roles,” he said.
But Pearce then re-asserted his original point. “I believe to suggest ‘acting’ can only come from our own lived experience annihilates our imagination,” he wrote. “I wouldn’t want that restriction placed on a minority actor or any actor for that matter, myself included.”
Other actors have made comments similar to Pearce’s argument, including openly gay actor Ian McKellen.
“Is the argument that a straight man cannot play a gay part, and if so, does that mean I can’t play straight parts and I’m not allowed to explore the fascinating subject of heterosexuality in Macbeth? Surely not. We’re acting. We’re pretending,” McKellen said last year.
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