Twitter Is Pissed Scarlett Johansson Is Playing a Transgender Man in Upcoming Movie: Read Her Response
On Tuesday (July 3), Scarlett Johansson found herself at the center of yet another casting controversy after it was revealed the Avengers star will portray a transgender man in her new film, Rub & Tug.
The upcoming mob drama is based on the actual identity of Dante "Tex" Gill (born Lois Jean Gill), a massage parlor owner who openly identified as a man, whom the 33-year-old has accepted to depict in the movie helmed by Rupert Sanders — the same director behind last year's Johansson-starrer Ghost in the Shell.
The 2017 sci-fi action flick based on the Japanese manga drew Johansson — a Caucasian woman — complaints of racism and whitewashing for representing a character viewed as Asian, and (more or less) bombed at the box offices because of it. However, this new endeavor seems to intimate she hasn't learned from her past blunders.
Many critics took the actress' new role as a slap to the face, especially those of minority designation, who called Johansson out for exploiting unrepresented groups for her own profit.
"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," one person wrote on Twitter.
In another tweet, #OscarSoWhite activist April Reign aired her feelings about the casting news, writing: “Scarlett Johansson received considerable backlash for Ghost in the Shell, when she played a whitewashed Asian character. The movie tanked. Undeterred, she has teamed up WITH THE SAME DIRECTOR to play a trans male character in Rub & Tug.”
Reign also attached a statement published on Bustle via Johansson's agent in response to the backlash: "Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
Reasonably, critics found Johansson's dismissive rejoinder a tell of how little she cares or knows about the communities she chooses to represent in her films, nor the clamor of her repeated offenses, for that matter.