Scarlett Johansson pulls out of Rub & Tug
It was revealed today that Scarlett Johansson has pulled out of Rub & Tug after enduring a massive, much-deserved backlash about her being cast as Dante “Tex” Gill. Gill was a trans massage parlor owner and it was that particular detail that sparked the outcry concerning her casting.
Last week Scarlett Johansson added more fuel to the fire when she released a statement regarding the outcry at her casting. She was reported by her rep to Bustle stating, “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
Needless-to-say, this tone death response sparked further anger from the public. Now Scarlett Johansson is bowing out of the role.
Her official statement given to Out.com can be read 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.”
Moving forward with the Rupert Sanders-led film, perhaps the powers that be can take into consideration actors from the transgender community who are continuously underrepresented in both film and TV.