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Twitter Has Found 'New Respect' for Scarlett Johansson After she Ditches Transgender Role

The actor was set to play the role of crime kingpin Dante “Tex” Gill, who was born Lois Jean Gill but identified as a man.

Zoya Mateen | News18.com

Updated:July 14, 2018, 11:49 AM IST
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Twitter Has Found 'New Respect' for Scarlett Johansson After she Ditches Transgender Role
The actor was set to play the role of crime kingpin Dante “Tex” Gill, who was born Lois Jean Gill but identified as a man.
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Scarlett Johansson has dropped out of her role in fact-based drama 'Rub & Tug' after backlash from the trans community.

The actor was set to play the role of crime kingpin Dante “Tex” Gill, who was born Lois Jean Gill but identified as a man. He used his massage parlors as a front for prostitution.

In a statement to Out.com on Friday, Johnson, 33, said she had learned from the discussion and outcry that followed the casting news.

Deadline broke the news that Johansson would be re-teaming with director Rupert Sanders for 'Rub & Tug'. The two previously worked together on the adaptation of 'Ghost in the Shell', another movie which was the centre of controversy. Many saw Johansson’s role as an Asian character as a form of whitewashing. In the case of 'Rub & Tug', she is being called out for “transface” as one person on Twitter commented. Another said this is a case of “ciswashing.”

People called out Johansson for what can be considered her second offense when it comes to appropriating — in this case its not cultural, it’s gender identity.

"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," Johansson said in the statement.

"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."

'Transparent' actor Trace Lysette also called the decision indicative of the industry at large. “Hollywood is so f****,” she tweeted. “I wouldn’t be as upset if I was getting in the same rooms as Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett for cis roles, but we know that’s not the case. A mess.”

While Scarlett's original responses to such statements invited flak from many people, her recent statement hints at a greater awareness of what the casting meant to many in the community and industry.

“I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues,” she said.

“According to GLAAD, LGBTQ+ characters dropped 40% in 2017 from the previous year, with no representation of trans characters in any major studio release," she wrote.

Twitter has lauded her decision of stepping down, expressing respect:

It is unclear whether the film will continue with a trans actor in the lead role.

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