Scarlett Johansson drops out of trans film ‘Rub & Tug’ after facing massive backlash

Scarlett Johansson has backed out of Rub & Tug movie in which she was going to portray the role of a transgender man. 

According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, Johansson released a statement saying, “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.”

In Rub & Tug, Johansson was supposed to portray Jean Marie Gill, who succeeded in Pittsburgh’s 1970s and 1980s massage parlour and prostitution business by assuming the identity of a man, Dante ‘Tex’ Gill.

The project is helmed by Rupert Sanders who also directed Johansson in another controversial movie Ghost in a Shell.

After the project was announced on July 2, Johansson received immediate backlash for playing a transgender man, despite being a cisgendered woman, in the time when the cry for representation is stronger than ever.

Johansson responded at the time with a statement released to via her rep. It read, “Tell them they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”

This only fanned the fire.

A lot of transgender male actors have come forward to audition for the movie. The fate of casting for the same hangs in balance.