After divulging in a recent interview that she was approached for and hoped to take a role in a new project portraying a trans man, Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry became the subject of backlash. Now, in a statement released on late Monday, the star has vowed to be an "ally" to the LGBTQ+ community.
On Friday, Berry was interviewed on Instagram Live wherein she revealed that she could soon be starting a new film project. Unnamed, the effort would cast Berry as a trans man, something she said she wanted to explore. Throughout the interview, Berry repeatedly misgendered the character and called the narrative a "female story," underscoring why cisgender actors, on the whole, are ill-fit for these trans roles — they don't understand the nuances. In the wake of media coverage about the interview, Berry was widely condemned.
"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," she wrote as a response to criticism on Monday night. "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.
"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," she continued. "I vow to be an ally in using my voice to promote better representation on-screen, both in front of and behind the camera."
GLAAD responded to the message saying that they organization was "pleased" with Berry's openness to learning. "Other powerful people should do the same," they wrote. The organization went on to link to their resource guide to help those in Hollywood to create more inclusive environments.
Berry's statement is a welcome about-face from the tact that celebrities generally use in situations like this. One would hope that she were to also put action behind these words, signing on to the backend of the project to help ensure that it not only gets done, but receives the sort of attention she felt it did when she was set to star. We aren't sure of the specs of the casting but Marquise Vilson and Brian Michael are right there.