"I was talking about men getting in touch with the female side of themselves," the "Star Wars" legend explains. "I wasn't talking about sex."
"Star Wars" star Billy Dee Williams is clarifying comments he made regarding his use of gender-fluid pronouns, using "himself" and "herself" to refer to himself, emphasizing that he wasn't trying to say he was gender fluid.
In fact, the 82-year-old "Star Wars" legend said he wasn't even familiar with the term in a new interview with The Undefeated. He says that his initial comments were simply misunderstood, or perhaps it's that he didn't understand how his comments could be seen as he was unfamiliar with how gender-fluid is described.
In fact, when he saw the interpretation of his comments spreading across the internet, Williams said he asked someone, "What the hell is gender fluid?" admitting he'd never heard the term before. And once it was explained to him,
"What I was talking about was about men getting in touch with their softer side of themselves," he explained. "There's a phrase that was coined by Carl G. Jung ... 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," he said. "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 gay or straight."
He went on to conclude, "I'm not gay -- by any stretch of the imagination. Not that I have anything against gay people. But personally? Not gay." Which, frankly, still suggests he may not fully understand what gender-fluid means, as it's not about orientation as much as it's about a person not identifying themselves as one particular gender over another ... thus the confusion when he said he used both male and female descriptors for himself.
In a recent interview with Esquire Williams revealed that he uses both "himself" and "herself" for self-description.
"I never tried to be anything except myself," he said. "I think of myself as a relatively colorful character who doesn't take himself or herself too seriously.. 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."
The media extrapolated those comments to mean that he was coming out as gender-fluid, but that was not the case. Instead, Williams was saying that he is a straight man who is in touch with what he defines as his softer, more feminine side.
Billy Dee Williams reprises his role as Lando Calrissian in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," in theaters December 20.