Scarlett Johansson is facing a backlash after it was announced that she will play a transgender man in her next movie role. Johansson has teamed up with Ghost In The Shell director Rupert Sanders for a biopic of Dante 'Tex' Gill, a 1970s Pittsburgh crime boss, in the upcoming Rub & Tug.
However, Johansson's casting in the role has been perceived by some online as trans actors being passed over for a role they are more suited to than their cisgender colleagues.
We have to stop hiring non-trans actors to play trans characters. In my opinion, it's equally as traumatic & offensive as black-face. It also shows how lazy, unwoke, and complicit in transphobia you are. #CASTAUTHENTICALLY! https://t.co/3WW1cOzrEE— Steven Canals (@StevenCanals) July 3, 2018
you should be too. why aren’t more people pissed about this? or mad about Rachel Weisz’s James Barry movie? two biopics in the works starring two major actresses that erase trans people. not okay.— e. oliver whitney (@cinemabite) July 3, 2018
The criticism got worse when a representative for Scarlett gave Bustle a comment reportedly from the actress herself, seemingly dismissing the concerns. "Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment."
Felicity Huffman played a transgender man in 2005’s Transamerica, while Jared Leto won an Oscar in 2014 for his performance as a transgender woman dying of AIDS in Dallas Buyer’s Club. Tambor, meanwhile, took on the lead role in the award-winning TV series Transparent.
Scarlett Johansson had to know there would be justified pushback on her playing a trans man in a new movie. But WOW at this "update."— Kevin Allred (@KevinAllred) July 3, 2018
Is she insinuating her right to a play a trans man is a White Feminist™ issue bc cis white actors have played trans women? I'm disgusted. pic.twitter.com/V0a43UAJu5
Yeah, I'm gonna avoid Scarlett Johansson movies moving forward after her response. Even if this topic were complex (and it's not: trans people should play trans people), flippantly dismissing concerns over this new role really says a lot about her views regarding trans people.— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) July 3, 2018
Johansson and director Sanders were accused of "white-washing" in 2017 when she played a character in Ghost In The Shell originally written as Asian in the poorly-received manga remake.
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.— Faith Choyce (@faithchoyce) July 3, 2018
at this rate scarlett johansson might play me in my biopic— Desus Nice (@desusnice) July 4, 2018