Actress Scarlett Johansson caved to pressure from an online campaign against her taking an acting role representing a transgender person in an upcoming movie.
"Diversity and representation in film”
After it was discovered that Johannson was set to star in the movie "Rub and Tug," transgender activists and allies of the LGBTQ movement excoriated her for what they saw as an insensitive move.
Johannson explained her exit from the movie in a statement to LGBT publication OUT magazine Friday.
"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. "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," she continued.
“While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life," Johansson added, "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.”
Johansson had originally put out a defiant statement citing other "cisgender" actors (the activist term for persons without alternative gender titles) who had portrayed transgender roles to critical acclaim.
The online furor
Comedian Faith Choyce tweeted about the controversy, “Scarlett Johansson is playing a trans man in her next movie because her ultimate career goal is to take an acting job from a member of each and every marginalized group.”
Screenwriter Steven Canals responded, “We have to stop hiring non-trans actors to play trans characters. In my opinion, it’s equally as traumatic & offensive as black-face. It also shows how lazy, unwoke, and complicit in transphobia you are.”
Here's a news report about the controversy: