Halle Berry is apologizing after facing significant public criticism over her want to play a transgender person in a brand new film.
The Monster’s Ball actress was mum concerning the movie, opting to avoid a lot of details about the upcoming project, but she did reveal she was preparing for a task in which she’d portray a transgender man. And now, after activists explained why Berry’s comments were problematic, the actress has vowed to learn and change later on.
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The whole thing started on a new Instagram Live interview the 53-year-old star did with hairstylist Christin Brown. In the video chat, she mentioned she’d been get yourself ready for the transgender role “that I might be doing,” adding:
“[It’s] a character where the woman is a trans character, so she’s a lady that transitioned into a man … This project got pitched in my experience right when I was on the brink of earning Bruised and making my directorial debut and I so was in the mindset to getting in the body to play that… But this got pitched to me, and I thought, after I do that movie, that’s the character I’m going to play. Who this woman was is so interesting to me, and that will oftimes be my next project, and that will require me cutting all of my hair off.”
Hmmm… a lady who has transitioned right into a man, but the A-lister still identifies her as a “woman” despite. That’s not right!
Berry’s comments drew immediate backlash after LGBTQ+ activists yet others articulated reasoned explanations why trans roles like this potential project should really be reserved for trans actors. One transgender activist, Serena Dianari, blasted Berry with a comment, writing:
“It absolutely isn’t a female story, it is a story about a man. And exactly why is the part of physical transition the center point for her? Cis peoples’ comprehension of trans dilemmas is really myopic. Girl watch Disclosure on Netflix.”
Transgender professor and public figure Emmy Zje went further on the potential harm due to ignorant comments like those from the star, adding:
“Thanks so much for listening. Trans men are men, not women. Trans women are women, not men. Nonbinary people aren’t their gender assigned at birth. They’re nonbinary. These tropes saying otherwise are dangerous for trans people and get us killed.”
And trans advocate Ari Drennen summed up the state of things in Hollywood in terms of transgender actors are concerned, adding:
“Please don’t play a transgender character; there are so many talented trans actors trying to get their break in Hollywood and as a cis woman this is not your story to tell — especially since you misgendered the character right off the bat.”
Related: J.K. Rowling Releases Another Statement About Her Take On Transgender Issues
Now, after hearing all of the criticism, it seems the Catwoman actress is listening and taking it all in. Hours following the news first broke on Monday of the potential project, she’d already publicly apologized for this, releasing an evening statement about her remarks.
“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. 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. I vow to be an ally in using my voice to promote better representation on-screen, both in front of and behind the camera.”
Wow! So it appears like that potential project isn’t any more? Good for her — listening, learning, changing, and growing. Reactions, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF about things here down in the comments (below)…
[Image via Apega/WENN]