Guy Pearce has apologised for making a controversial statement about transgender actors.
Earlier this week, the Australian actor took to Twitter to share a message in which he questioned the roles “trans folk” can play.
“A question – if the only people allowed to play trans characters are trans folk, then are we also suggesting the only people trans folk can play are trans characters?” he asked.
“Surely that will limit your career as an actor? Isn’t the point of an actor to be able play anyone outside your own world?”
Following backlash online, Guy deleted his original post and issued a lengthy apology for “crassly focusing” on an “already-harassed minority” via the platform on Wednesday.
“I see that raising the question of gender identity within the casting process on a platform like Twitter was not a good idea. For that, I apologise, enormously. I acknowledge it has only stirred up and inflamed attitudes and made us all dig our heels in. I take responsibility for that and again, apologise for starting a fire,” he stated.
“This is a subject that needs to be discussed face to face, person to person and over a good amount of time where we are all heard and understood. It is also a subject that I understand is complex and sensitive.”
Guy went on to note that he understands that his question was “insensitive” and insisted that he recognises his privilege.
He also claimed that he was inspired to muse on the topic because he is often asked whether “gay people should’ve played” the roles of drag queens in his hit 1994 film, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
“None of this is straightforward. But I do believe the artistic community must discuss and develop this within itself, yes, even if that involves a little shouting. God forbid politicians or the press barons tell us what is acceptable,” the 55-year-old concluded.