Star Wars’ Billy Dee Williams Explains Gender Fluid Comment, Says He’s Not Gay


Billy Dee Williams is set to make his triumphant return to a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Lando Calrissian is back, and while we don’t know how much of a role he’ll play in the movie, it’ll be nice to see what he’s been up to.

But never mind Lando, Williams himself generated a lot of column inches last week with an interview where he said the following:

“I never tried to be anything except myself. I think of myself as a relatively colourful character who doesn’t take himself or herself too seriously… And you see I say ‘himself’ and ‘herself,’ because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine.”

This was seized on by many as a declaration that Williams was coming out as genderqueer or gender fluid. It’s not hard to see why, either, as eschewing gender binaries and referring to yourself by both masculine and feminine pronouns is pretty much the definition of gender fluidity. But it now seems that the actor doesn’t actually identify that way.

In an interview with the Undefeated, he said his comments have been misinterpreted, explaining:

“Well, first of all, I asked last night. I said, ‘What the hell is gender fluid?’ That’s a whole new term.

But 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 then went on to (unnecessarily) clarify:

“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.”

It seems like he’s still a little mixed up, because gender fluidity doesn’t imply anything about your sexual preferences. Williams finally attempted to set the record straight though by explaining that he identifies as a man: “a very cute man.”

And so ends the week-long saga of wondering whether Billy Dee Williams is gender fluid or not. Honestly, given the amount of good press he got from this, I’d have just rolled with it.

In any case, we’ll get to see Williams as notorious space pansexual Lando Calrissian in just over two weeks, when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits cinemas on December 20th.