Actress Scarlett Johansson was up for a role as a transgender man in the upcoming biographical drama, Rub & Tug, but has now dropped out of the role.
She was faced with much criticism and backlash over the potential casting, with transgender performers saying it was unfair and how they rarely get to portray these roles in huge Hollywood films.
Initially, Scarlett responded by telling everyone to contact reps for others like “Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffmam,” who have all portrayed trans characters before, to less criticism.
However, Scarlett has now backed out of the film after the continued backlash, releasing a statement to Out magazine explaining her decision:
"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.”
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