Actor Guy Pearce recently made a tweet that seems to have thrown the Time Machine and Memento star in hot water. Specifically, he shared his thoughts on whether or not trans actors could play non-trans characters. The statement came as a result of the debate regarding non-trans actors being able to play trans characters.
As shared via Deadline, his original tweet appears to have centered on the notion that actors should be able to “play anyone outside” their “own world.” Though many Twitter users became upset by his tweet. Here’s the statement that he shared which has since been deleted:
“A question – if the only people allowed to play trans characters r trans folk, then r we also suggesting the only people trans folk can play r trans characters,” the tweet begins. “Surely that will limit ur career as an actor? Isn’t the point of an actor to be able play anyone outside ur own world?”
After receiving backlash, however, Pearce took the time to issue an apology for his tweet. He wrote the following statement to better explain his thoughts over “gender identity within the casting process” and what he meant to say:
“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,” Pearce explains. “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.”
Guy Pearce continues:
“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.”
He also acknowledged how his initial tweet was insensitive even if that wasn’t the intention. At which point he explained his point:
“The point I wanted to raise was one about defending the definition of acting and nothing more. Throwing the subject onto one minority group in particular was unnecessary, especially from a man like me, with a ‘Full House’ of privilege. I’m in no position to complain about fairness, at least not on my own behalf.”
“I raised the question because for 30 years now I’ve had many people ask me since doing Priscilla ‘Don’t you think gay people should’ve played those roles?’ and now many similar discussions are occurring about trans actors and trans roles. It has led me to reflect even more about acting as an artform and it’s place in the world.”
He further adds that the entertainment “industry is already a cesspool of politics, bums on seats funding, nepotism, and favouritism.” And, furthermore, “a great many minority communities are underrepresented on screen and that so too are actors from those communities.” Though Pearce confirms his beliefs:
“But I don’t believe artists should have to announce their personal identity, sexual preference, political stance, disability, religious beliefs etc to attain work.”
Pearce also continues to say that “to suggest ‘acting’ can only come from our own lived experience annihilates our imagination. I wouldn’t want that restriction placed on a minority actor or any actor for that matter, myself included. What I will say though, if I am going to play miles outside myself, it better be good. And on that metric I have always been willing to be judged, as I would hope the actor with lived experience is.”
And thus the reason to debate these topics. Though, as Guy Pearce explained already, these discussions are better to have “face to face” rather than on a social media platform like Twitter.
I posted a tweet yesterday that I shouldn’t have, which to prevent upsetting anyone else I have now deleted. A fuller apology and explanation of the point I was raising is attached xx Guy pic.twitter.com/bu1vLQcPFm
— Guy Pearce (@TheGuyPearce) March 28, 2023
Stay tuned to ScreenGeek for any potential updates on this situation as we have them.