Halle Berry Reverses Course on Playing a Trans Man

"I now understand that I should not have considered this role."

Halle Berry has backpedaled after revealing that she was in the running to play a trans man in a new project.

On a recent Instagram Live with hairstylist Christin Brown, the Oscar-winning actress said she was in consideration for a trans male role in an unnamed upcoming film. Despite being a cisgender woman and an ally to the LGBTQ community, Berry said she auditioned because she “[wants] to experience that world, understand that world.”

Clearly, she has a ways to go: In the same interview, the Bruised star and director repeatedly misgendered the character she hoped to portray, referring to him as a “woman” and describing the film as a “female story” that “changes to a man.”

The news quickly sparked backlash among transgender advocates, who have long argued that Hollywood should let trans actors tackle trans roles.

In response, Berry issued a statement on Twitter this Monday, July 6, revealing she’d removed herself from consideration for the role.

“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,” the actress tweeted. “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 added that she was “grateful” for the “critical conversation” and the opportunity to learn from her mistake.

Berry’s misstep comes more than two years after Scarlett Johansson, another lauded cisgender actress, was chosen to play a trans man in the film Rub & Tug. After LGBTQ advocates called her out, Johansson doubled down on the casting, although she ended up quitting the project when the backlash persisted.

Johansson later confessed to Vanity Fair that she “mishandled” the whole controversy.

“In hindsight… I was not sensitive, my initial reaction to it,” she told the magazine. “I wasn’t totally aware of how the trans community felt about those three actors playing—and how they felt in general about cis actors playing—transgender people.”

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella