Entertainment » Celebrities

Billy Dee Williams Clarifies Gender-Fludity Comments; "Read Carl Jung"

by Sam Cronin
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Dec 6, 2019
Williams at Dragon Con 2013
Williams at Dragon Con 2013  (Source:AP Photo/ Ron Harris, File)

Billy Dee Williams, of Star Wars fame, clarified his recent comments to Esquire in which he referred to himself as "himself or herself" in a new New York Times interview. In it, Williams said he had no intention to come out as gender-fluid, as many media outlets assumed his comments indicated, and in fact, he was not familiar with the term beforehand.

"I had never heard that expression before," Williams said. "But I don't really know what it means. What does it mean?"

When the term was clarified for him, he replied that it wasn't his intention to identify that way.

"Well, that's not what I was talking about," Williams explained. "I was talking about, I think that men should get in touch with their female self. Men should not be afraid or ashamed of expressing the soft side of themselves."

In a similar follow-up interview with The Undefeated, Williams mentioned that his use of both gendered pronouns was inspired by Carl Jung, a contemporary of Sigmund Freud.

"There's a phrase that was coined by Carl G. Jung... He coined a phrase that's, 'Anima animus,'" Williams told The Undefeated. "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," Williams continued. "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."

Williams also clarified that he's not gay, telling Vibe "No, no, no, 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 smooth-talking smuggler Lando Calrissian in the upcoming "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," opening December 20.

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