Scarlett Johansson on Friday announced
that she will not play a transgender man in the upcoming film Rub
The announcement comes after intense
backlash over the decision not to cast a transgender man in the
film's leading role.
Johansson cited those concerns, saying
the decision was “insensitive.”
"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 in a statement given to LGBT glossy Out.
"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.”
“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,” she added.
In Rub & Tug, Johansson was
set to play Dante “Tex” Gill, a transgender man who owned a
massage parlor and prostitution business in Pittsburgh in the 1970s.
Johansson initially brushed off
criticism, saying that such critics should be “directed to Jeffrey
Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment,” a
reference to actors who received critical acclaim for playing