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Scarlett Johansson Drops Out of 'Rub & Tug' Amid Criticism for Trans Role - Read Her Statement

Scarlett Johansson Drops Out of 'Rub & Tug' Amid Criticism for Trans Role - Read Her Statement

Scarlett Johansson will no longer be appearing in the upcoming Rub & Tug following criticism for taking on the role of a transgender man.

The 33-year-old actress confirmed her decision in a statement, following an initially defensive response from her rep, to Out on Friday (July 13).

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“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,” she said.

“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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Photos: Getty Images
Posted to: Scarlett Johansson

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  • HG

    Good. Her initial comment was complete bulls**t. She didn’t even try to understand why people were mad and decided to just push it on other actors. Like I said in the other post, I don’t know what the best way to handle this movie is, but maybe they can do an open casting for a trans actor for the main role and get some high profile actors for the supporting roles to generate publicity/box office numbers. Oh and also fire the director. After Ghost in the Shell and Snow White, I don’t trust him to tell this story and it’s an important one to tell.

  • krtmom

    So trans actors should only play trans roles? Should only gay people play gay roles? Then why call it “acting”? Isn’t the purpose of acting to be someone that you’re really not. Ridiculous!!!

  • lulubelle

    Ridiculous that she dropped out and more ridiculous that stupid PC people think only trans people should play trans people. So I guess only gays should play gays, blondes play blondes, Brits only play Brits, American only play Americans, ad nauseum. it’s called ACTING for a reasons.

  • Sweet Cheeks

    It would have bombed with her as the lead. Also, I think she dropped out to save her Black Widow movie. I started seeing people throwing shade by her bad attitude and dissing her Black Widow role on social media. What a disaster….

  • sarah


  • Rogue180

    Nobody is gonna see a movie with an unknown actor only because in real life is a trans actor.
    The producers wants to recovery their investment not throw away money to please a small group of people .

  • JEN

    criticism is sounding too much like bullying.

  • KG2018

    Guess she can play Rosa parks also since it’s just acting.

  • KG2018

    Really? So if she got cast as Rosa Parks that’s perfectly fine? People would flip out.

  • krtmom

    You can’t act a color but I bet meryl Streep could pull it off!!!

  • Rogue180

    This will probably result in the film not being made.
    Thank God that the lesbians and gay men didn’t made such an outrage when Cate Blanchett played Carol or Tom Hanks did Philadelphia.