Halle Berry issues apology, backs out of transgender film role
Actress Halle Berry was featured in a recent Instagram video informing fans of her plans to portray "a character where the woman is a trans character, so she's a woman that transitioned into a man."
But shortly after the 53-year-old actress made her announcement she was criticized for misgendering the character multiple times during her interview.
According to Variety, Berry pulled out of a role and issued a public apology on Monday night.
Berry said, “the transgender community should undeniably have the opportunity to tell their own stories.”
Her Friday interview most notably caught the attention of the Twitter account for the Netflix documentary “Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen,” which was released last month and examines Hollywood’s portrayal of transgender people and their stories.
The doc’s account asked that Berry watch the film to “understand how cis actors like yourself acting in trans roles has major cultural consequences offscreen.”
Hi @halleberry, we heard you're considering playing a trans man in your next project. We ask that you please watch @Disclosure_Doc on @netflix first to understand how cis actors like yourself acting in trans roles has major cultural consequences offscreen. #DisclosureNetflix— Disclosure Documentary (@Disclosure_Doc) July 6, 2020
After Berry’s apology, the account thanked her for “listening and learning.”
The LGBTQ rights organization GLAAD also responded, saying “We are pleased that Halle Berry listened to the concerns of transgender people and learned from them. Other powerful people should do the same. A good place to start is by watching ‘Disclosure’ to learn about trans representation in media.”
In recent years, cisgender actors have faced controversy over playing transgender characters. In 2018, Scarlett Johansson was cast as a transgender character in the film “Rub and Tug,” sparking criticism from trans rights groups and activists.
Johansson, like Berry, eventually exited the role.
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