Scarlett Johansson is one of the biggest names in Hollywood. The actress got into show business at a young age and throughout her career has been in some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. Recently she was Marvel’s newest Avengers’ movie, Avengers: Infinity War, which grossed over $2 billion at the box office, but it’s her latest role which has sparked a national debate.
Pulling out of Rub & Tug
Johansson was set to a play a transgender man in the upcoming film ‘Rub & Tug.’ The actress was going to portray transgender man Dante “Tex” Gill. Gill owned a number of massage parlors in Pittsburgh during the 1970s and 1980s. The massage parlors were all fronts for prostitution.
Scarlett’s casting drew an almost instant backlash from the public and the LGBTQ community. The LGBTQ community and other organization have been encouraging the casting of transgender actors for transgender roles.
Shortly after the criticism, Johansson released a statement saying, “Tell them they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
The actors Johansson mentioned all had transgender roles to critical acclaim in the past, but times have changed, and her statement only caused more backlash. Now Johansson has decided to pull out of the movie altogether.
“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,” Johansson said in a new statement.
Not the first-time for Johansson
This isn’t the first-time Johansson has found herself in the middle of a casting controversy. In 2017, the actress was cast in the film “Ghost in the Shell” to play the part of Major Mira Kilian/Motoko Kusanagi. The movie is based on a popular Japanese manga series; her casting prompted cries of white-washing.
Some people tried to defend Johansson’s casting saying it would bring a Japanese product to a broader audience while others were still critical of the move. The film was released and grossed about $170 million.