In a controversial move, Scarlett Johansson has caved in to the demands of the out of touch trans community and dropped out of Rub & Tug, the movie that would have seen her play a transgender man. Felicity Huffman earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for playing one not too long ago in the brilliant movie Transamerica.
“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,” said a statement that was released by Johannson’s publicists and probably written by them.
“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,” the actress continued. “I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues.”
Rub & Tug tells the true story of Jean Marie Gill, who was assigned female at birth but who assumed the identity of a man, Dante “Tex” Gill, and operated a massage parlor and prostitution business in Pittsburgh in the 1970s and ’80s. While it is unclear how Gill, who died in 2003, identified, an obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that he ran his parlors while “insisting that she was a man and telling everyone she wanted to be known as ‘Mr. Gill.'”
When the project was announced on July 2, along with Johansson’s casting, there was an immediate online backlash from a minority. Some commenters argued that the role should have gone to a trans performer, not realizing that movies are made to make money, and that there are no bankable trans actors in the world.
The arguments that those protesting made make about as much sense as a homosexual being told that they can’t play a role because the role is that of a straight character. Or that a straight person cannot play the role of a homosexual. Christopher Plummer became the oldest actor to win an Oscar for playing a gay man in the 2010 movie Beginners.
The next day, in a statement provided by a rep, Johansson said, “Tell them they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.” Those three actors won Oscars or Emmys for their great performances of transsexuals. The word is called “acting.”
Rub & Tug would have seen Johansson reteam with director Rupert Sanders, with whom she worked on 2017’s Ghost in the Shell, a project that also sparked controversy over Johansson being cast as a character who is Japanese in the original manga series.
New Regency was set to produce the movie, along with Joel Silver’s Silver Pictures, Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures and Johansson’s These Pictures banners.
Unless the studio finds a brave actress that is willing to not cave in to the demands of an unhinged few, the movie is most likely not going to get made.
Scarlett Johansson Drops Out of Trans Movie.