In the heat of a political moment in the United States, there has been a large movement for equal representation of minorities on the big screen and in television animated shows. Not only to be represented in those those mediums, but accurately represented by actors that represent those characters. Recently many white actors stepped down from voice acting minority characters in animated shows, such as Jenny Slate as Missy in Big Mouth, Mike Henry as Cleveland in Family Guy, and Hank Azaria as Apu in The Simpsons. But as these issues are much of today, they often intersect with other identities.
Recently Halle Berry, known for her portrayal of Storm in the original X-Men franchise, has turned down a role as a transgender man. In a recent interview the actress admitted her excitement for the role, but accidentally misgendered the character several times. Berry said, according to Huffpost, “She’s a woman that transitioned into a man. She’s a character in a project I love and I might be doing.” She continued, “I want to experience that world, understand that world.”
Immediately, the actress received backlash for her comments and even taking up the role in the first place. Many criticized Berry for believing she can just “step in” and “step out” of an identity and the experiences that come with it, the good and the bad, when there are trans actors out there who are more than willing to accurately portray trans characters.
Berry reversed her decision and, in a tweet the next week, stated, “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. I vow to be an ally in using my voice to promote better representation on-screen, both in front of and behind the camera.”