The actress, 53, sparked fury on Friday when she announced during an Instagram Live video with hairstylist Christin Brown that she was considering playing a trans character.
“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. 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,” she wrote.
Her apology continued: “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.”
According to multiple reports, Berry’s now-expired Instagram Live did not specify what project the character was for but she said it was one she was considering with excitement.
“[It’s] a character where the woman is a trans character, so she’s a woman that transitioned into a man,” Berry initially told Brown, as reported by People. “She’s a character in a project that I love that I might be doing.”
Halle Berry attends the special screening of Lionsgate’s “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” at TCL Chinese Theatre on May 15, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
Berry continued to tell Brown that she viewed the opportunity as a learning experience.
“I want to experience that world, understand that world. I want to deep dive in that in the way I did ‘Bruised,'” she wrote. “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 added that she felt it was “important” for her to tell the character’s story, which she called a “female story.”
“It changes to a man, but I want to understand the why and how of that. I want to get into it,” she added at the time.
Some of the backlash Berry received had to do with the pronouns she used when discussing the potential role.
“Halle Berry referring to a transgender man by she/her/hers pronouns is part of the reason why SHE, A CISGENDER WOMAN, SHOULD NOT PLAY A TRANSGENDER MAN. Let trans people play trans characters. It’s THAT simple,” one user on Twitter wrote.
Another user said Berry’s “first red flag is she keeps using ‘She/Her’ pronouns to refer to this trans man (makes it clear she means FTM).”
“Cannot overstate the extent to which the way Berry misgenders and appropriates her character in this interview is how cis women habitually talk about trans men IRL,” tweeted another person.
Berry’s apology seemed to confirm she is no longer considering the role and several on social media applauded the star for walking back on her previous statements.