Halle Berry walks away from transgender role after backlash

Following an outcry on social media, actress Halle Berry has apologized and left a transgender role in an upcoming film.

The Oscar winner came under fire over the weekend when she revealed on Instagram Live that she would likely cut her hair to play the character in her next project and that she repeatedly misinterpreted the character during the interview.

“I think about [playing] a character where the woman is a trans character, so her hair is going to have to be [short]. It is a woman who has become a man, ”said Berry in a recent discussion with hairdresser Christin Brown. “He’s a character in a project that I love and could do.

“It’s really important for me to tell stories. And it’s a woman. It’s a women’s story, ”added Berry. “She goes to a man, but I want to understand the why, the how of it.”

Berry and Brown were really excited about the project, but not the social media. Following a wave of criticism, the “Monster’s Ball” star apologized on Monday and pledged to be a better ally.

“As a cisgender woman, I now understand that I shouldn’t have considered this role, and that the transgender community should definitely be given the opportunity to tell their own stories,” she said. wrote on Twitter.

“I am grateful for the advice and critical conversation over the past few days and will continue to listen, educate and learn from this mistake,” Berry added. “I swear to be an ally by using my voice to promote better on-screen representation, both in front of and behind the camera.”

LGBTQ + rights group GLAAD applauded the actress’ decision and steered her towards the recent documentary “Disclosure”, which examines Hollywood’s treatment of transgender characters and actors.

“We are happy that [Halle Berry] listened to and learned from the concerns of transgender people. Other powerful people should do the same. A good place to start is to watch to learn more about trans portrayal in the media, ”the group tweeted Monday in response to his apologies.

Brown, a self-identified queer woman of color, also posted her own apology on Instagram after the interview.

“What started out as a conversation around hair and our identities as black women, I then asked a creative question,” the textured hair specialist wrote on Tuesday. “The answer to that question turned into a major learning moment for myself and for everyone involved. I realize the error in saying that “I speak on behalf of the entire LGBTQIA community …”. I apologize for the hype and will make sure to stay in my lane by not speaking for others.

Hollywood has a long history to give white, straight actors the roles of LGBTQ + individuals, many of whom have won Oscars or nominations for their performances – Julie Andrews (“Victor, Victoria”), Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”), Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal (“Brokeback Mountain”), Hilary Swank (“Boys Don’t Cry”), Sean Penn (“Milk”) and Felicity Huffman (“Transamerica”), among them.

Berry is the latest star to step away from a role aimed at promoting inclusion and diversity. The global outcry that followed George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police this year sparked a concerted effort to promote black lives and livelihoods.

White actors Kristen Bell, Jenny Slate, Alison Brie and Mike Henry also stepped down from their animating roles to make way for a more racially appropriate cast of their characters on “Central Park,” “Big Mouth,” “Bojack Horseman,” and “Family Guy.” , respectively. “The Simpsons” announced late last month that it would also be recasting its black characters with black actors.

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