Actress Halle Berry has walked away from an upcoming film role in which she would have played a transgender character after backlash.

In an Instagram live interview last week, Berry said she'd been preparing for the role but hadn't officially been cast, according to Variety.

"[It's] 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," Berry said.

The actress added that she was keen to take a "deep dive" into "that world", referring to the trans community.

Advertisement

But after misgendering the character several times during the interview, Berry faced instant backlash.

She then made a public apology and pulled out of the role.

"Over the weekend I had the opportunity to discuss my consideration of an upcoming role as a transgender man, and I'd like to apologise 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.

"I am grateful for the guidance and critical conversation over the past few days and 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."

Her comments provoked a response from the Twitter account for Netflix doco Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen, released last month, which examines how Hollywood portrays transgender people.

The account asked Berry to watch the film to "understand how cis actors like yourself acting in trans roles has major cultural consequences off-screen."

After her apology, the account thanked her for "listening and learning".

LGBTQ rights organisation GLAAD also commented: "We are pleased that Halle Berry listened to the concerns of transgender people and learned from them. Other powerful people should do the same. A good place to start is by watching Disclosure to learn about trans representation in media."

Advertisement

Cisgender actors have faced backlash over playing transgender characters in the past few years.

Scarlett Johansson was cast as a transgender character in the film Rub and Tug amid backlash from trans activists. She exited the role a week later.