Scarlett Johansson is once again teaming up with director Rupert Sanders for the new film Rub & Tug, where Johansson will play infamous mob-connected massage parlor owner and transgender man, Dante "Tex" Gill.
The last movie Sanders and Johansson did together was Ghost in the Shell, which caused a huge whitewashing controversy due to ScarJo playing a Japanese character.
Guess these two haven't learned their lesson the first time.
Dante "Tex" Gill was known for running several massage parlors that fronted prostitution businesses in Pittsburgh in the 1970s and '80s. Although he was assigned female at birth, Gill identified as a man and used masculine pronouns. Therefore, many people believe that a trans man should be the one to tell Gill's story— not a cis woman.
Twitter responded to the casting kerfuffle the only way they know how— with a healthy mix of rage and jokes:
Now, this is usually the part when the actor's PR people release a statement about the controversy trying to make things better. But not ScarJo! Instead, Johansson released this statement directly, and it was unapologetic AF:
“Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
Of course, Johansson referred to three other cisgender actors who have played transgender characters in the past. They also have been heavily criticized for accepting these roles, but also were heavily lauded by winning Emmys and Oscars.
Trans actors spoke out against the casting on Twitter as well:
Hollywood has a long tradition of casting cis people in trans roles. In addition to the three people ScarJo named in her "statement," actors like Eddie Redmayne, Elle Fanning, Matt Bomer, Hilary Swank, Chloe Sevigny, Sofia Vergara, and Michael Caine are just a few cis actors of many who have played trans people.