Bleats

Halle Berry Has Learned Nothing From ScarJo By Considering Transgender Role

"I want to experience that world."

Last year, Scarlett Johansson got torn to shreds when she said she should be allowed to play “any person, or any tree, or any animal”. Sadly, fellow actress Halle Berry has learned nothing from Johansson’s mistakes with the news she is preparing to play a transgender man in an upcoming film.

In a recent Instagram Live, Berry spoke about her next role and said, “[The film is about] 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,” she added. “I want to experience that world, understand that world. I want to deep dive in that the way I did Bruised.

“Who this woman was is so interesting to me, and that will probably be my next project, and that will require me cutting all my hair off,” she said. “That’s what I want to experience and understand and study and explore.”

“It’s really important to me to tell stories, and that’s a woman, that’s 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.”

Speaking of the trans community, hear about JK Rowling’s unsettling comments below:

Not only did Halle Berry continue talking about the film and character with “she/her” pronouns, but it appeared she didn’t understand the issue with a cisgender actor playing a transgender person.

Fans were quick to call out Berry’s comments on social media and the official Twitter account for Netflix documentary Disclosure also weighed in. 

“Today is a good day to remind people that casting trans actors in trans roles in more than about opportunity,” @Disclosure_Doc tweeted.

It was a similar story for Scarlett Johansson, who was heavily criticised when she agreed to (and subsequently withdrew from) a role as transgender man Dante ‘Tex’ Gill in the biopic Rub & Tug. 

Not only does the casting of cisgender actors in transgender roles perpetuate dangerous stereotypes, it also takes the opportunity away from transgender actors. 

In Disclosure, actress Jen Richards said, “the public thinks of trans women as men with really good hair and makeup in costume. And that’s reinforced every time we see a man who’s played a trans woman offscreen.”

In November last year, Scarlett Johansson admitted that she had “mishandled the situation” when it came to her role in Rub & Tug. “I was not sensitive, my initial reaction to it. I wasn’t totally aware of how the trans community felt about those three actors playing—and how they felt in general about cis actors playing—transgender people,” she said.

Berry has since responded to the backlash, telling her Twitter followers in a statement, “As a cisgender woman, I now understand that I should not have considered this role, and that the transgender community have the opportunity to tell their own stories.”

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Sigh, Shia LaBeouf's New Film Is Already Being Accused Of 'Brownface'

"We don't need this right now."

Since Black Lives Matter protests began erupting all over the world, renewed focus has been placed on racism within films, TV shows and pop culture in general. Disclaimers have been added to certain pieces of content, and some films and TV shows featuring black and brownface have been pulled from viewing platforms altogether – making the timing of Shia LaBeouf’s new film The Tax Collector even worse.

Credit: RLJE Films

The Tax Collector follows two tax collectors – played by LaBeouf and Bobby Soto – who work for a crime lord and face an uncertain future when an old rival reappears. 

After the trailer was released last week, fans were quick to slam Shia LaBeouf for depicting “brownface” in the film and adopting a “cholo” accent.

‘Cholo’ is a Spanish term for people of mixed-blood heritage or a male of Mexican descent, and can be considered derogatory. 

Speaking of problematic film, hear about the Little Britain controversy below:

One Twitter user said, “Oh hey, another movie [with] Latinos and Blacks in glorified gang culture on steroids that reinforces stereotypes and fears for white folks and promotes the cop mentality that ‘it’s a battlefield out there.’”

“Sigh…Hollywood, come on. We don’t need this right now,” they added. 

Another tweeted directly at The Tax Collector director David Ayer, “Hey, really important question that I think you should answer publicly in 2020. Is Shia LaBeouf playing a Latino character in Tax Collector? If so, why didn’t you cast a Latin actor?”

Ayer responded to the query, tweeting, “Really important answer – Shia is playing a whiteboy who grew up in the hood. This is a Jewish dubbed playing a white character. Also the only white dude in the movie.”

Later, he added, “I grew up hood and I’m a whiteboy. Chicano culture is inclusive – I’ve seen whiteys, Asians, Blacks, Filipinos all putting in work for the hood. It’s part of street culture.”

Ayer also denied Shia LaBeouf is sporting brownface in the film.

No word from Shia LaBeouf on the brownface accusations, but the film isn’t even out yet and it’s already receiving many mixed reviews.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

It’s No Surprise Duffy Slammed '365 Days' For Glamorising Kidnap And Abuse

“Careless, insensitive, and dangerous.”

Earlier this year – after a decade of silence – singer Duffy made a return to social media to tell her horrific story of being raped, drugged and held captive for days. Now she has found her voice, Duffy is speaking out against the Netflix movie 365 Days, claiming it glamorises kidnap and abuse.

Credit: Getty

In a letter to Netflix’s chief executive, Reed Hastings, Duffy said it was “careless, insensitive, and dangerous” to feature 365 Days on the streaming platform. 

365 Days is a Polish erotic romantic drama following a young Warsaw woman who is imprisoned by a dominant Sicilian man, and granted 365 days to fall in love with him. The film has already caused quite a stir for featuring graphic sex scenes and depictions of BDSM.

365 Days glamorises the brutal reality of sex trafficking, kidnapping and rape,” Duffy wrote in her open letter. “This should not be anyone’s idea of entertainment, nor should it be described as such, or commercialised in this manner.”

“I write these words (ones I cannot believe I am writing in 2020, with so much hope and progress gained in recent years), as an estimated 25 million people are currently trafficked around the world, not to mention the untold amounts of people uncounted,” she wrote.

Speaking of using your voice, hear Sandra Sully discuss the importance of female empowerment below:

Duffy slammed Netflix for providing a platform for a film that “eroticises kidnapping and distorts sexual violence and trafficking” as something “sexy.” She also mentioned that the film has “prompted some young women, recently, to jovially ask Michele Morrone, the lead actor in the film, to kidnap them.”

In a since-deleted Instagram post from January, Duffy told her fans, “The truth is, and please trust me I am OK and safe now, I was raped and drugged and held captive over some days. Of course I survived. The recovery took time. There’s no light way to say it.”

A month later, the singer shared the details of her traumatic experience in an eight-page document. She told her fans she was drugged on her birthday at a restaurant and continued to be drugged for four weeks as she travelled to a foreign country. 

Duffy said she was held in a hotel room where her attacker raped her. “With what little strength I had, my instinct was to run, to run and find somewhere to live that he could not find.” 

Ending her open letter to Netflix, Duffy said, “I encourage the millions who have enjoyed the movie to reflect on the reality of kidnapping and trafficking, of force and sexual exploitation, and of an experience that is the polar opposite of the glossy fantasy depicted in 365 Days.” 

Considering the incredibly terrifying and painful ordeal Duffy went through, it’s no surprise she has taken issue with 365 Days. It’s the responsibility of Netflix to provide disclaimers on such content going forward.

If you, or anyone you know is a victim of sexual abuse, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or 1800 RESPECT for support.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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