Scarlett Johansson Exits Rub and Tug Following Trans Role Backlash: “I’ve Learned a Lot”
After being dragged by every corner of the sensible internet, Scarlett Johansson has finally left the Rub & Tug film, in which she would have been portraying a trans man.
Her initial comments in response to the first wave of backlash, was to make a statement via her publicist saying: “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
Not only where the comments awful because of the harassment charges against Tambor for allegedly harassing a trans woman, but it ignores the fact that trans activists have been calling this out and complaining about this sort of depiction. Even Tambor said, in the speech in which he won an Emmy for Transparent that he wanted to be the last cis-man to play a trans woman.
In her newest statement, which announced her leaving the role, Johansson said the following to Out Magazine, who first reported the news:
“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. 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. According to GLAAD, LGBTQ+ characters dropped 40% in 2017 from the previous year, with no representation of trans characters in any major studio release.”
“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,” the statement continues. “I believe that all artists should be considered equally and fairly. My production company, These Pictures, actively pursues projects that both entertain and push boundaries. We look forward to working with every community to bring these most poignant and important stories to audiences worldwide.”
While I hope this has been an educational moment for ScarJo and that she will, moving forward, choose her roles with more care, I feel like it is very dishonest to say you have great admiration and love for the trans community, but release the statement she did initially.
You can also bring Dante’s story and transition to life by financially backing the movie and making sure it gets made and a trans man gets to play the role. Being a good ally means taking a back seat sometimes, and not just doing things for your own personal glory. Also, where was this same statement when it came to Ghost in the Shell and the feedback coming from the Asian-American community?
Well, since they have already hired a director for that Black Widow movie, I’m sure she won’t be struggling to find work at least for the foreseeable future.
(via Variety, image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
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