A “Stars Wars” actor clarified he is not “gender fluid” after he was celebrated as such by news outlets and advocates of LGBT rights.
In an interview with The Undefeated published on Wednesday, Billy Dee Williams revealed he doesn’t even know what the term “gender fluid” means.
Williams, who played Lando Calrissian in the “Star Wars” series, is set to reprise his role for the upcoming film, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
“Well, first of all, I asked last night. I said, ‘What the hell is gender fluid?’ That’s a whole new term,” Williams told the sports and culture outlet.
The actor also emphasized that he is definitely “not gay.”
Williams, 82, said the comments he made to Esquire in an interview last month had been misinterpreted.
“And you see, I say ‘himself’ and ‘herself,’ because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine. I’m a very soft person. I’m not afraid to show that side of myself,” he told Esquire in November.
News outlets and progressives on social media latched on to the remarks as a sign that Williams had “come out” and asserted a non-conventional gender identity.
“Congrats to Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) for coming out and living your truth as gender fluid,”
“Star Wars Actor Billy Dee Williams has come out as genderfluid in an interview with Esquire,” tweeted the Nerdy PoC Twitter account.
“Love to see it. Especially for all those who act like we just sprouted 5 years ago,” tweeted George M. Johnson, a writer and activist who frequently espouses “woke” stances on Twitter.
So when Childish Gambino voiced what Lando was like in the Solo movie, he was basically advertising Billie-Dee Williams' actual truth and lifestyle? (Except for maybe wearing capes) lol. That's Awesome! 👍🏿⭐👍🏿⭐👍🏿⭐👍🏿 Great for Billie-Dee Williams! pic.twitter.com/ENRwevWlVF
— blackbronze7 (@blackbronze7) December 1, 2019
Jesse Singal, a contributing writer for New York Magazine, said the reaction to Williams’ Esquire interview remarks captured the problems with “the more Tumblresque side of gender ideology.”
3/ The sheer lack of curiosity among feminism-minded progressives who would normally have a lot to say about this, just this deafening silence, because everyone's afraid to say the wrong thing, is allowing some very silly ideas to take root. Be braver! It's just Twitter dopes.
— Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) December 5, 2019
However, some in the woke crowd insisted Williams is in fact gender fluid, he just didn’t know it.
Follow-up, for anyone who feels the need to @ me about this (screencapped for the sake of sparing Phil any unnecessary shouting in his mentions): pic.twitter.com/9i30fiKIID
— David Daut (@DavidMDaut) December 5, 2019