Film

Scarlett Johansson Has Finally Figured Out She’s Not The Right Person For Transgender Film Role

Good call.

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson has pulled out of an upcoming film in which she was set to play a transgender man, following intense criticism over her casting.

Johansson was set to re-team with Ghost in the Shell director Rupert Sanders on Rub & Tug, a film based on the life of  Dante ‘Tex’ Gill, a 1970s Pittsburgh crime boss who was born as Jean Gill. But her casting sparked a major backlash from members of the LGBTIQ+ community who felt the role should go to a trans person.

Among Johansson’s most vocal critics was trans actor Trace Lysette, who tweeted that she “wouldn’t be as upset if I was getting in the same rooms as Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett for cis roles, but we know that’s not the case”.

Johansson initially defended her involvement, releasing a fiery statement telling critics they should approach “Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment”. But she has since had a change of heart, announcing today that she would exit the role.

“In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project,” Johansson told Out magazine. “Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive.”

“I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues,” she added. “While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film.”

Good call, Scarlett. A bit late, but still, good call.

Feature image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr