Scarlett Johansson admits she ‘mishandled’ transgender casting controversy

Updated on Nov 28, 2019 08:18 AM IST
Actor Scarlett Johansson has admitted that she ‘mishandled’ the casting controversy around Rub and Tug, in which was supposed to play a transgender character.
US actress Scarlett Johansson attends the premiere of Netflix's Marriage Story.(AFP)
US actress Scarlett Johansson attends the premiere of Netflix's Marriage Story.(AFP)
Asian News International | By

Actor Scarlett Johansson walked down the memory lane and reflected the hard time she experienced when she was widely criticized for defending her choice to play a transgender character. According to People magazine, speaking to Vanity Fair for the cover story of the publication’s awards issue, the 35-year-old star said that she “mishandled that situation.”

“I was not sensitive, my initial reaction to it. I wasn’t totally aware of how the trans community felt about those three actors playing--and how they felt in general about cis actors playing--transgender people,” she said.

Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in Marriage Story. (AP)
Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in Marriage Story. (AP)

“I wasn’t aware of that conversation--I was uneducated. So I learned a lot through that process. I misjudged that.... It was a hard time. It was like a whirlwind. I felt terrible about it. To feel like you’re kind of tone-deaf to something is not a good feeling,” she added.

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After her casting in the film Rub & Tug as Dante ‘Tex’ Gill” -- a transgender person who owned a massage parlor in Pittsburgh’s underground sex industry in the 1970s -- drew backlash in 2018, a representative for Johansson said in a statement to Bustle: “Tell them they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment,” referencing other cisgender actors who have portrayed trans characters.

Johansson later exited the project, telling Out Magazine that “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.”

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