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Halle Berry drops idea of playing transgender man after backlash from trans activists

Aditi Bharade

The Straits Times/Asia News Network

Los Angeles, United States  /  Tue, July 7, 2020  /  03:26 pm
Halle Berry drops idea of playing transgender man after backlash from trans activists

Halle Berry attends Tyler Perry Studios grand opening gala at Tyler Perry Studios on October 05, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (AFP/Paul R. Giunta)

Halle Berry has dropped the idea of portraying a transgender man in an upcoming film, People magazine reports.

In an Instagram live interview conducted with hairstylist Christin Brown last Friday, the Catwoman and X-Men actress shared that she might be considering the role - " a character where the woman is a trans character, so she's a woman that transitioned into a man."

The 53-year-old added: "I want to experience that world, understand that world. Who this woman was is so interesting to me, and that will probably be my next project, and that will require me cutting all of my hair off."

She went on to call the story a "female story", which drew criticism from people who said that she had misgendered the character, who was a transgender man.

In response to her comments, trans activist Serena Daniari tweeted: "It absolutely is NOT a female story, it is a story about a man. And why is the aspect of physical transition the focal point for her? Cis(gender) people's understanding of trans issues is really myopic. Girl watch Disclosure on Netflix."

Read also: Trans anger as J.K. Rowling compares hormone treatment to gay conversion therapy

Cisgender refers to people whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth while Disclosure is a documentary about Hollywood's impact on the transgender community.

In response to all the backlash, Berry posted an apology on her Twitter, admitting her mistake.

"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," her apologetic statement read.

"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."

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This article appeared on The Straits Times newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post