Scarlett Johansson has tried to fend off critics over her new role, playing a transgender character in a new biopic.
It was announced yesterday that Johansson is to take on the role of Dante ‘Tex’ Gill in the movie Rub & Tug, who ran several mob-connected massage parlours in 1970s Pittsburgh, to be directed by Rupert Sanders.
Gill, born Lois Jean Gill, was a woman who lived as a man, wore men’s clothing, and was in a long-term relationship with a woman, Cynthia Bruno.
The announcement was soon followed with criticism that the role should really be played by a transgender man, rather than Johansson.
However in a statement Johansson shot back at her critics, saying: “Tell them they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
All three actors have played transgender characters, Tambor in Transparent, Leto in Dallas Buyers Club and Huffman in Transamerica.
But despite her remarks, she is still being slated for the decision to take on the part.
Literally the LEAST you could do when making a movie about trans people is to cast a trans person in the role that was written for them. Scarlett Johansson needs to stop naievely choosing roles, and studios need to do better.
— Derek Abolish ICE Sherry 🌹 (@NotKyleSherry) 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
No offense to Scarlett Johansson but there are many beautiful trans women in the world, and I MEAN MANY…so ask Hollywood to keep looking!
— Tshepi Makhatha (@TshepiMakhatha) July 4, 2018
You’re making a movie about a fat, Trans man who was a crime boss and Scarlett Johansson is the first name that comes to mind? Really? https://t.co/P3Vnb91HRp
— @red3blog (@red3blog) July 3, 2018
It perhaps does not help that she has previously been criticised for taking on the lead role in Sanders’ last movie Ghost In The Shell.
The production was accused of white-washing in casting caucasian actors in roles that were Japanese in the Manga on which it was based.
Hence this withering remark…
Scarlett Johansson is playing a trans man in her next movie because her ultimate career goal is to take an acting job from a member of each and every marginalized group.
— Faith Choyce (@faithchoyce) July 3, 2018
Johansson has not yet commented on the continuing backlash ushered in by her statement.