Amid reports of actress Scarlett Johansson’s casting as a transgender man in the upcoming movie Rub and Tug, as the Inquisitr reported, trans actresses Trace Lysette and Jamie Clayton have spoken out. According to Buzzfeed, the actresses sentiments have echoed the criticisms of the casting choice.
“Oh word?? So you can continue to play us but we can’t play y’all? I wouldn’t be upset if I was getting in the same rooms as Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett for cis roles, but we know that’s not the case. A mess,” Lysette, who stars on Transparent, said. She added that in addition to cisgendered actors primarily playing transgendered roles, they consistently “pat [themselves] on the back with trophies and accolades for mimicking what we have lived… so twisted.”
Lysette refers to movies like The Danish Girl, Dallas Buyers’ Club, Transamerica, and Boys Don’t Cry, where cisgendered actors portrayed trans people and were nominated (with Jared Leto, Eddie Redmayne, and Hillary Swank winning awards for Dallas Buyers’ Club, The Danish Girl, and Boys Don’t Cry, respectively).
Clayton, who stars on Netflix’s Sense8, spoke about the difficulty trans actors face just to audition.
“Actors who are trans never even get to audition for anything other than roles of trans characters. That’s the real issue. We can’t even get in the room. Cast actors who are trans as non-trans characters. I dare you.”
Scarlett Johansson’s response to the criticism has been nearly as strong as that of her casting. In a statement about the role, her publicist urged people to speak to the reps for “Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman,” all of whom are cisgendered actors who have played trans roles.
Many Twitter users also address Johansson’s decision to star in Ghost in the Shell, a movie based on an anime that featured a Japanese heroine.
Just as I wasn't happy with Scarlett Johansson playing Japanese Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell, I am sure as hell not okay with her accepting trans roles which should have gone to actors who actually are. Also, just give trans actors and POC more roles in general. Damn. https://t.co/tovNFS1il7
— Nina Bean (@mangostar20) July 4, 2018
Others in the trans community have called for a chance to discuss their unique perspective and struggles in the industry. Producer Jen Richards tweeted to The Hollywood Reporter, saying “this trans casting issue isn’t going away and there is a roundtable’s worth of us who could lay out all the finer points quite clearly. We’d love the chance to have our voices heard by the industry, and what better place to have that happen than THR?”
Orange Is the New Black actress Laverne Cox echoed the sentiment, stating “this is a great idea” in response to the tweet.
Neither Johansson, her publicist, or Rupert Sanders have spoken about Lysette or Clayton’s comments.