Scarlett Johansson Defends Her New Transgender Role

Scarlett Johansson has once again found in the center of controversy over her new role choice. She accepted to play a role of a transgender man in the upcoming movie “Rub & Tug”.

Rub & Tug

The movie is based on the true-life story of Jean Marie Gill who became Dante “Tex” Gill later in life. He became one of the most infamous crime bosses and was the head of a Pittsburgh massage parlour and prostitution operation in the 70s and 80s.

Gill identified as a man throughout his whole life which is the detail in the role that sparked all the heavy backlash.

The understanding of gender identity was way less in the 70s than today, it is generally agreed that Gill who asked to be called Mr Gill and preferred to use male pronouns, was a transgender man.

Many resented the fact that cisgender actress was casted for the role ahead of trans actors. There are increasing calls for Hollywood to improve the diversity of people it puts on the screen, as well as the belief held by some that transgender roles should be played by transgender people.

Scarlet’s spokesperson issued a statement saying the complaints should be directed elsewhere.

“Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”

All three actors played transgender roles in the past and Felicity Hoffman was nominated for Oscar for her role in “Transamerica” and Jared Leto even won an Oscar for his performance as Rayon in “Dallas Buyers Club”.

The Old Controversy

The movie also reunited the 33-year-old Avenger actress Johansson with director Rupert Sanders with whom she worked in 2017 on the movie “Ghost in the Shell”.

The science fiction movie also caused a lot of controversy at the time and movie makers were accused of whitewashing. The film was based on the popular manga series and the white woman, Scarlett, played Motoko Kusangi, a Japanese character

“We’re not making a small Japanese version of the film. We’re making a global version of the film, you need a figurehead movie star,” Rupert Sanders argued Johansson’s casting at the time.

“The world basically cast Scarlett Johansson, she’s the person people want to see in this role.”

Twenty-eight transgender people died in the US as a result of fatal violence in 2017. In 2018, at least 14 transgender people were killed so we all must do our best and work towards justice and equality for transgender people.


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