Originally, Johansson dismissed the criticism, pointing out other actors who had taken transgender roles. In a statement to Bustle, she said: “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
But now, Johansson has decided to withdraw from the role completely, telling Out magazine: “I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realise it was insensitive…
“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.
“I am thankful that this casting debate… has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film.”
Johansson is no stranger to criticism over her roles: she was accused of whitewashing for playing a character originally written as Asian in the film Ghost in the Shell in 2017.