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Scarlett Johansson Responds To Backlash For Taking On Transgender Role

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Actress Scarlett Johansson attends the Premiere of “Avengers: Infinity War” in Los Angeles, April 23, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

By Vaishnavi Vaidyanathan, International Business Times

Scarlett Johansson faced severe backlash for opting to play the role of a transgender man in the movie “Rub & Tug.”

[post_ads]In a statement to Bustle via her representative, Johansson said, “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”

Johansson was referring to the instances when Tambor portrayed Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman in Amazon series “Transparent,” Leto played a transgender woman in “Dallas Buyers Club,” and Huffman took on the role of a transgender woman in “TransAmerica.”

In the movie “Rub & Tug,” directed by her “Ghost in the Shell” director Rupert Sanders, Johansson will play the role of Dante “Tex” Gill, a celebrated woman massage parlor owner who lived as a man in Pittsburgh during the 1970s to 1980s.

An obituary called Gill “the woman who prefers to be known as a man” and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the massage-parlor owner must have undergone sex change to look masculine.

“In all the old newspaper stories about Dante ‘Tex’ Gill, she was always ‘the woman who prefers to be known as a man,’ or some variation of that description, and she sure looked and acted the part,” adding that Gill “insisted she was a man,” the obituary read, Bustle reported.

Gill was also known for having a long-term relationship with Dallas-based Cynthia Bruno.

“A trans man should have been cast instead of Scarlett Johansson and it doesn't surprise she took the role,” Jamal, a Twitter user said.

“Scarlett Johansson is the type of white woman that complains about injustice only to turn around and underhand POC and trans ppl RATHER than do anything to stand up to rich white men,” Normie Adjacent, another user tweeted, showing her disappointment with the actor's decision.

This is not the first time Johansson received backlash for a role.

In 2017, she was accused of whitewashing when it was announced she would be playing the role of cybernetic hero Motoko Kusanagi in “Ghost in the Shell,” which was an official remake of a Japanese manga (comics).
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Johansson defended her casting saying, “I think this character is living a very unique experience in that she has a human brain in an entirely machinate body.”

“I would never attempt to play a person of a different race, obviously. Hopefully, any question that comes up of my casting will be answered by audiences when they see the film,” she added, the Wrap reported.

“What issue could there possibly be with casting her? The Major is a cyborg and her physical form is an entirely assumed one,” Japanese director Mamoru Oshii had said. “I believe having Scarlett play Motoko was the best possible casting for this movie. I can only sense a political motive from the people opposing it, and I believe artistic expression must be free from politics.”

Apart from “Rub & Tug,” Johansson will star in director Jay Roach’s “The Psychopath Test” and the much awaited sequel to “Avengers: Infinity War” in which she will reprise the role of the Black Widow.

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Entertainment - U.S. Daily News: Scarlett Johansson Responds To Backlash For Taking On Transgender Role
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