Actress Scarlett Johansson has exited the drama film Rub and Tug following a week of intense backlash about her being cast as a transgender man. After initially standing by her decision to star in the film Johansson told Out Magazine,
“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,” the statement continues. “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.”
Johansson’s casting not only drew a lot of heat to her but Business Insider writer, Daniella Greenbaum quit the organization yesterday after her article defending Johansson was pulled from Business Insider’s website following the internal backlash to her piece.
It’s currently unclear where production stands on Rub and Tug after Johansson’s exit but this story has caused alot of backlash and it’s hard to see where the film moves forward from here.