Halle Berry Pulls Out of Role as Trans Character Following Backlash

Lawrence Kim
July 7, 2020

Halle Berry has pulled out of a film role in which she'd play a transgender man and issued an apology, following a severe backlash. Berry recently caused a stir online over comments about a role she was excited to play, and wound up apologizing.

I'm grateful for the guidance and the critical conversation over the past days and I'll continue to listen, educate and learn from this mistake.

Berry answered yes, and said, "I'm thinking about this character where the woman is transgender".

In a new Instagram Live interview the actress did with hairstylist Christin Brown, Halle revealed she was previously preparing for a role in which she'd portray a transgender man.

She was set to play crime kingpin Dante "Tex" Gill, born as a women but identifying as a man, and who ran massage parlours as a front for prostitution across Pittsburgh during the 70s and 80s. Berry called it a female story about a woman transitioning to a man, and said it was important to her to explore the story, and the "why" behind it. "I want to understand that world, I want to understand that character". "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".

After her statement was released, the "Disclosure" team thanked Berry for "listening and learning".

LGBTQ rights organisation GLAAD said: "We are pleased that Halle Berry listened to the concerns of transgender people and learned from them". "Other powerful people should do the same".

Many were angered that Berry used the incorrect pronouns when referring to the character and believe the role should go to a trans actor.

On Monday evening, Berry issued a public apology and vowed to be an ally of the transgender community.

There are fears Berry's film project could end up the same way, after the clip was noted by The Geekiary.

While Hollywood writers have written an increasing number of transgender roles in recent years, IndieWire's Jude Dry reported in late 2019 that transgender talent still face significant challenges while attempting to find work in the entertainment industry.

Netflix's critically acclaimed documentary Disclosure has been praised for its exploration of trans characters in TV and film.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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