Scarlett Johansson has admitted she "mishandled" the backlash to her casting as a transgender character.
The Marvel star was set to portray real-life transgender massage parlour owner Dante 'Tex' Gill in Rupert Sanders' film Rub & Tug, but her casting was met with fierce criticism by many who believed a cisgender actor should not be playing a trans character.
She later stepped down from the role, but in her initial reaction to the backlash, she controversially said: "Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment."
Her response name-checked cis actors who have played trans roles in the past, notably Huffman's Oscar-nominated role in Transamerica and Jared Leto's Oscar-winning performance as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club.
Now, however, Johansson has expressed her regret over how she handled the situation, admitting that she was "not sensitive" in her initial reaction and that she was "uneducated" on the topic.
"In hindsight, I mishandled that situation. I was not sensitive, my initial reaction to it," she told Vanity Fair. "I wasn't totally aware of how the trans community felt about those three actors playing – and how they felt in general about cis actors playing – transgender people.
"I wasn't aware of that conversation – I was uneducated. So I learned a lot through that process. I misjudged that... It was a hard time. It was like a whirlwind. I felt terribly about it. To feel like you're kind of tone-deaf to something is not a good feeling."
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