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Scarlett Johansson bows out of Rub & Tug

Since her casting as a transgender male for “Rub & Tug”, Scarlett Johansson has copped a lot of flak, mostly in regard to the fact that an actual transgender actor wasn’t hired for the gig. Defending her gig on the basis of “this has been done before”, people were still unhappy about it and it seemed like the problem wasn’t going to go away.

As a result, Johansson has withdrawn from the project, telling Out.com that she could see why people were criticising her casting.

“I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues,” she said. “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.”

She has been applauded for her decision, and now it will be interesting to see who does take the role in the film, to be directed by Robert Sanders.

See Johansson’s full statement below:

“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. 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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