When news that Scarlett Johansson was planning to play trans man Dante ‘Tex’ Gill in the biopic Rub & Tug, her rep's tone-deaf response launched the casting controversy into overdrive. She's now announced she exited the project.
Here's her full statement:
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.
Trans people have historically been portrayed by non-trans actors, often in hopes of getting awards. I outlined the long-running controversy back when Transparent first came out.
• Exclusive: Scarlett Johansson Withdraws From Rub & Tug (OUT magazine)