Scarlett Johansson Pulls Out of Transgender Role Amid Backlash Over Casting Discrimination

Scarlett Johansson has pulled out of her role in the Rupert Sanders-directed Rug & Tug, in which she would have played Dante “Tex” Gill, a transgender massage parlor mogul, following criticism that a cisgender actress had been hired to play a transgender role.

Oh word?? So you can continue to play us but we can’t play y’all?

Hollywood is so fucked… I 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. A mess. https://t.co/s8gBlBI1Sw

— Trace Lysette (@tracelysette) July 4, 2018

Actors who are trans never even get to audition FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN ROLES OF TRANS CHARACTERS. THATS THE REAL ISSUE. WE CANT EVEN GET IN THE ROOM.

Cast actors WHO ARE TRANS as NON TRANS CHARACTERS. I DARE YOU #RupertSanders @NewRegency #ScarlettJohansson https://t.co/RkrW8MeGcG — Jamie Clayton (@MsJamieClayton) July 4, 2018

Johansson told OUT magazine: “I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues.

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.”

Cheers to learning & growing! I hope you’re still producing the film Scarlett. What an incredible opportunity to put your words into action even further!

YAS! Let’s get lunch and talk! #ScarlettJohansson https://t.co/rrLd6mDKDe — Jamie Clayton (@MsJamieClayton) July 13, 2018

To exhibit the spirit of generosity I earnestly want to see more of, I am going to take Scarlett Johansson at her word that she listened to feedback, realized that despite her intentions this was going to cause harm, and made the right decision to step down.

Well done. — Jen Richards (@SmartAssJen) July 13, 2018

Thank you Scarlett Johansson for pulling out of “Rub and Tug”…
Now the real work begins…???? This has been a long time coming Hollywood.

But the Trans community is ready if you are…?

— Ashlee Marie Preston (@AshleeMPreston) July 13, 2018

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