In a statement posted to Twitter on Monday evening, Halle Berry said she is backing out of plans to play a transgender man in an upcoming film after criticism from LGBT groups.
“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 said.
— Halle Berry (@halleberry) July 7, 2020
On Friday, Berry spoke about preparing for the role in an Instagram Live interview, though she noted she had yet to be officially cast. She described the role as “a character where the woman is a trans character, so she’s a woman that transitioned into a man.”
“Who this woman was is so interesting to me, and that will probably be my next project,” she said.
The interview sparked a backlash from the trans community, who criticized Berry for misgendering the character in the interview and for contributing to a trend in Hollywood of trans actors being left out of casting for trans roles in favor of better recognized cis actors. Earlier Monday, the makers of the Netflix documentary “Disclosure,” which explores the impact of Hollywood and media on how people view trans individuals, encouraged Berry to watch their film “to understand how cis actors like yourself acting in trans roles has major cultural consequences offscreen.”
After her statement was released, the “Disclosure” team thanked Berry for “listening and learning.”
“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,” Berry wrote in her apology. “I vow to be an ally in using my voice to promote better representation on-screen, both in front of and behind the camera.”