Acclaimed actress Halle Berry — the first black woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress — is no longer considering a role as a transgender man in an upcoming film after online backlash against her.
What are the details?
Berry said in an Instagram live interview Friday that she’d been preparing for the role but hadn’t been officially cast, Variety reported.
“[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 said, according to the outlet, adding that she wanted to take a “deep dive” into “that world,” presumably in reference to the trans community.
But Berry got hit with online backlash after misgendering the character multiple times during the interview, Variety said.
“Who this woman was is so interesting to me, and that will probably be my next project,” she said in one example, the outlet noted.
Despite being biologically female, women who become transgender men consider themselves male — and trouble often starts when others refer to them as women or use female pronouns in reference to them.
Berry on Monday night apologized and said she was stepping away from the role.
— Halle Berry (@Halle Berry)1594083421.0
“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,” she said in a Twitter post. “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.”
Berry added, “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.”
Prior to Berry’s statement, the Twitter post from the Netflix documentary “Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen” — which looks at how Hollywood portrays transgender people — was directed at the actress, asking her to watch the documentary to “understand how cis actors like yourself acting in trans roles has major cultural consequences offscreen,” Variety said.
Hi @halleberry, we heard you’re considering playing a trans man in your next project. We ask that you please watch… https://t.co/Wv5zl8ASHZ
— Disclosure Documentary (@Disclosure Documentary)1594064233.0
Following Berry’s statement, the documentary’s Twitter account issued a follow-up post thanking her for “listening and learning.”
GLAAD also was pleased with Berry checking her cis privilege:
We are pleased that @halleberry listened to the concerns of transgender people and learned from them. Other powerfu… https://t.co/aGejFKbBTT
— GLAAD (@GLAAD)1594085522.0
“We are pleased that Halle Berry listened to the concerns of transgender people and learned from them. Other powerful people should do the same,” the post read. “A good place to start is by watching ‘Disclosure’ to learn about trans representation in media.”
Berry’s decision to no longer consider the transgender role isn’t a first in Hollywood. In 2018, an online campaign was launched against actress Scarlett Johansson for her plans to portray a transgender character in a movie, and while she was initially defiant, she soon gave up the role.
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Author: Dave Urbanski
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