The American actress Scarlett Johansson leaves the cast of Rub & Tug. Earlier this month it became known that she would play a transgender man in this film, after which she got a lot of criticism.
Critics believe that a transgender actor should interpret the character.
“In the light of recent ethical questions that arose after my casting as Dante ‘Tex’ Gill, I decided to withdraw my participation in the project”, Johansson explains her decision on the site of the American Out Magazine.
“Although I had found it fantastic to be able to show the story of Dante and his transition, I understand why, according to many, he should be played by a transgender person.”
Initially, Johansson reacted less comprehensively. She defended her role by pointing out fellow actors Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman.
They won prizes for their rendition of transgender characters, Tambor in the series Transparent, Leto in the film Dallas Buyers Club and Huffman in Transamerica. Her first reaction now calls the actress ‘insensitive’. She says she is grateful that the debate has led to a broader conversation about diversity and representation in the film world.
With the director of Rub & Tug, Rupert Sanders, Johansson worked together for the remake of the Japanese animated film Ghost in the Shell. Also, her leading role in this film was controversial. The makers were accused of whitewashing because Johansson played an Asian character as a white woman.