Transgender Actors Applaud Scarlett Johansson’s Decision To Drop Role Portraying A Trans Man

According to Billboard, transgender artists have praised Scarlett Johansson’s decision to pull out of the upcoming Rub & Tug movie, in which she was set to portray a transgender man.

Johansson released a statement on Friday.

“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,” the actress continued, “and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive.”

Many transgender actors and artists were glad and relieved that Johansson dropped out of the movie and made an effort to listen to the trans community. When her role in the film was initially announced, Johansson received a lot of backlash on social media from both transgender and cisgender people who thought the role of a transgender man should be played by an actual transgender man.

Since announcing her departure, however, those in the trans community have praised her decision to leave, thanking her for listening to their outcry.

“Scarlett deciding to pull out was a good example of listening to the community and that was the right thing to do,” Emmy-nominated producer Rhys Ernst commented.

“It says a lot about Scarlett Johansson. That actually makes me a little emotional because it’s not an easy industry for trans women. It’s not an easy industry for trans men,” Transparent actress Rain Valdez said.

Alexandra Grey, known for her roles in Code Black, Transparent, and Chicago Med, more deeply revealed the reason for the community’s backlash.

“We’re broken. It hurts us sometimes when we see cis actors portraying our stories and winning Oscars and winning Emmys.” She added that trans actors aren’t afforded the same opportunities. For example, Jared Leto won an Oscar for playing a trans woman in Dallas Buyer’s Club.

Scarlett Johansson

Artist, producer, and filmmaker Zackary Drucker contributed to the conversation.

“We are so troubled and so ravaged by feeling ignored, by feeling exploited, by feeling that our stories are not our own,” she said, adding that she is hopeful that this might be a turning point in the industry.

“What we’re saying is that actors should have the artistic freedom to play any roles,” Grey added. “We’re not saying that you can’t portray these characters. We’re saying we just want to have the opportunity as well to go out for any types of roles. We’d like to be invited for anything that you got.”