Billy Dee Williams Walks Back Comments About Gender Fluidity: 'I Wasn't Talking About Sex'

The 'Star Wars' legend received praise last week after making comments about his 'feminine' side.

Billy Dee Williams is clarifying his comments on gender.

The Star Wars actor received widespread praise last week after making comments which led many to believe he identifies as gender fluid.

"I never tried to be anything except myself," he shared in an interview with Esquire. "I think of myself as a relatively colorful character who doesn’t take himself or herself too seriously." 

"You see I say 'himself' and 'herself,' because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine," Williams explained further. "I'm a very soft person. I'm not afraid to show that side of myself."

However, the actor clarified his comments in an interview with The Undefeated this week.

"Well, first of all, I asked last night, I said, 'What the hell is gender fluid?' That’s a whole new term," Williams admitted, saying his quotes were misunderstood.

"What I was talking about was about men getting in touch with their softer side of themselves. There’s a phrase that was coined by Carl G. Jung, who was a psychiatrist who was a contemporary of Sigmund Freud, and they had a splitting of the ways because they had different ideas about the … what do you call it? Consciousness. Unconscious. It’s collective unconsciousness. But he coined a phrase that's, 'Anima animus.' And anima means that is the female counterpart of the male self, and the animus is the male counterpart of the female."

"So, that’s what I was referring to. I was talking about men getting in touch with the female side of themselves. I wasn’t talking about sex, I wasn’t talking about being gay or straight. People should read [Jung]. I mean, it would be an interesting education for a lot of people," he added, making the common mistake of conflating or confusing gender identity with sexual orientation. "I’m not gay — by any stretch of the imagination. Not that I have anything against gay people. But personally? Not gay."

Williams will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. When told in the Esquire interview that Donald Glover, who portrayed the character in Solo: A Star Wars Story, discussed embracing gender fluidity and sexuality ahead of his debut in the Star Wars franchise, Williams lit up. "Really? That kid is brilliant -- just look at those videos," he said, referencing Glover’s song (as Childish Gambino), "This Is America." 

Williams recently opened up to ET about reprising his role as Lando -- and the "bittersweet" ending to the Skywalker series. Watch below.



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