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Scarlett Johansson backs out of trans role

Scarlett Johansson revokes movie role as real-life trans man Dante Tex Gill.
Photo credit:
Wikipedia

Scarlett Johansson has made a 180-degree turn on her position about playing trans man Dante Tex Gill in the biographical film Rub & Tug. When trade publications first reported that the star had accepted the role and trans activists criticized her she sarcastically told them to refer to, “Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment." 

But in a recent interview in Out Magazine she was a little more sensitive about the subject and says if anything good has come out of it all, it’s been the avenues of communication.

“While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life," she said, "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.”

Here is Johansson’s full statement:

"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.

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."