Halle Berry steps away from trans film role after public criticism

Actor Halle Berry has offered an apology to the trans and gender diverse communities after announcing she was considering taking on a transgender role in an upcoming film.

Taking to Instagram Live on Friday, Berry discussed the potential role in the unnamed film with her fans.

“I’m thinking of [playing] a character where the woman is a trans character, so she’s a woman that transitioned into a man,” Berry said on IG.

“She’s a character in a project I love that I might be doing.”

Berry was swiftly corrected on social media for her misuse of pronouns and understanding of trans identities, and urged to step away from the role in favour of a transgender actor.

The director behind Netflix documentary Disclosure, which focuses on the power of trans visibility and trans actors on screen, Sam Feder, urged Berry to consider his work before moving ahead with the role. Trans screen stars Jamie Clayton (Sense8) and Zeke Smith (Survivor) also reached out to Berry, asking her to reconsider.

The documentary looks into the positive effects of trans folks being able to tell their own stories on screen, and the struggles gender diverse actors face in Hollywood and the wider world of film and TV, featuring stories from trans stars Laverne Cox, Alexandra Billings, Candis Cayne, Chaz Bono, Trace Lysette and more.

Berry has since posted an apology to social media, revealing she has chosen to step away from the role after hearing from trans folks and allies.

“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 wrote.

“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.”

OIP Staff

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