Scarlett Johansson pulls out of trans role after backlash over casting

The actress says she is "thankful" that the casting debate "sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film"

Scarlett Johansson (Getty, EH)

Scarlett Johansson has pulled out of playing a transgender man in a movie following a backlash from the LGBT community.

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The Avengers star had been cast to play Dante “Tex” Gill, a crime boss from the 70s, in the film Rub & Tug.

Johansson’s casting had been highly criticised on social media, where many argued the role should have gone to a transgender actor.

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.”

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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.


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