The controversy is not extinguished, the American actress Scarlett Johansson has finally given up playing a transsexual in the film “Rub and Tug”. Members of the trans community demanded that the opportunity be given to a transsexual to embody this role.
Scarlett Johansson was chosen to play the main character of the movie “Rub and Tug” which will trace the life of Dante “Tex” Gill, owner of a massage parlor and pimp, become one of the great figures of American crime in 1970s and 1980s. Born Lois Jean Gill, he identified himself as a man.
“Given the recent ethical issues raised after I was chosen to play Dante Tex Gill, I decided to respectfully withdraw from the project,” the 33-year-old actress told Out magazine on Friday . “Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance and I have learned a lot about this community since the announcement of my casting and realized that it was unsavory,” she added.
The choice of “ScarJo” for the role has caused controversy on social networks. Transgender actresses Trace Lysette and Jamie Clayton led the charge against the film’s producers for not giving this opportunity to a representative of the trans community.
The entourage of Scarlett Johansson, known for “Lost in Translation”, said in a statement that actors Jeffrey Tambor and Jared Leto and actress Felicity Huffman had all successfully played transgender roles.
“Although I would have loved the chance to bring Dante’s story to the screen, I understand why many think he should be portrayed by a transgender person,” said Johansson. “And I am happy that the controversy provoked by my casting has opened a wider debate on diversity and representation in the cinema”.
Members of the trans community praised his decision on social networks, while recalling that a lot of way still remained to be done. “Thanks Scarlett Johansson for giving up ‘Rub and Tug’ … Now the real work begins,” tweeted transgender activist Ashlee Marie Preston.