Halle Berry—apparently having never heard the words Scarlett and Johansson—was recently pursuing a film that would cast her as a transgender man. After getting an earful on social media, that is no longer the case. “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,” reads a written statement posted on the Academy Award winner’s Instagram story Monday evening. “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.”
To figure out how we got here, we have to go all the way back to before all our pets hated the world: On July 3, Berry did an interview on Instagram with hairstylist Christin Brown in which she revealed she was in talks to play “a character where the woman is a trans character, so she’s a woman that transitioned into a man.... She’s a character in a project I love that I might be doing.... This woman is so interesting to me, and that will probably be my next project, and that will require me cutting all of my hair off.”
Over the next few days, Berry faced a lot of criticism for misgendering the character, in addition to backlash for considering the role in the first place. “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,” Berry’s Instagram story statement continued on Monday. “I vow to be an ally in using my voice to promote better representation on-screen, both in front of and behind the camera.”
If you want to support LGBTQ youth, consider donating to GLSEN, which promotes anti-bullying initiatives and gay-straight alliances in schools nationwide, and The Trevor Project, which operates a confidential hotline staffed by trained counselors who provide crisis-intervention and suicide-prevention services.