Scarlett Johansson faces backlash over new role

Scarlett Johansson is facing criticism after being cast as a transgender man in an upcoming film.

Posted: Jul 5, 2018 5:14 PM
Updated: Jul 5, 2018 5:22 PM

Scarlett Johansson is once again at the center of a Hollywood casting controversy.

In 2016 there was backlash after the actress was cast as a Japanese character in the film "Ghost in the Shell," based on a popular Japanese manga series.

This time there is criticism surrounding her role as a transgender man.

Johansson is set to star in "Rub & Tug" as Dante "Tex" Gill, a trans man known for running a string of massage parlors in Pittsburgh that were fronts for prostitution in the 1970s and 1980s.

The film is set to be directed by Rupert Sanders, who also made "Ghost on the Shell."

Some took to Twitter to offer their thoughts on Johansson's casting.

One man sarcastically asked if Johansson's next role would be to play the first black president of the United States.

Another woman accused Johansson of wanting to take acting jobs away from every marginalized group.

CNN has reached out to Johansson for comment.

Minority actors have long complained that they struggle to get cast in Hollywood even as producers say they can't find the right actors for their projects.

Here are a few actors who could have been considered for the "Rub & Tug" film:

Ellie Desautels

Desautels is among the few actors who are nonbinary -- people who identify themselves as neither male nor female -- and who have appeared on prime-time network series. Most recently, Desautels played a transgender high school student named Michael Hallowell in the now-canceled NBC drama "Rise."

"We need roles written for everyone -- and casting directors should then know how to cast those roles accordingly," the actor said in an interview with GLAAD.

Chaz Bono

The LGBT advocate and child of performer Cher and the late entertainer and politician Sonny Bono was the first transgender contestant on "Dancing With the Stars."

Last year, the 49-year-old actor starred on "American Horror Story: Cult."

Bono also is the author of several books, including "Transition," in which he talks about identifying as a transgender man.

Emmett Jack Lundberg

Lunderg is a filmmaker and actor known for "Brothers," a web series following the lives of four transgender male friends in Brooklyn.

The series was named one of Indiewire's 10 Best Indie TV Series in 2014.

Ian Harvie

A former standup comedian, Harvie has starred in several TV series.

The trans actor appeared in Amazon's "Transparent" in 2014 and since then has been a guest star on several other shows, including NBC's "Will & Grace."

"When we get to see ourselves in the media, we get to feel like we exist, especially when there's positive representations of trans people," Harvie said in an interview with CNN's Brooke Baldwin.

'Give transgender talent a chance'

Transgender roles in movies and TV are rare. Until recently non-transgender actors were mostly cast in those parts.

Only 17 regular and recurring transgender characters were tracked across broadcast, cable and streaming television series in the 2017-2018 season, according to a report released by GLAAD Media Institute.

On Tuesday, Johansson responded to those critical of her casting in the forthcoming film by mentioning others who have played trans roles in Hollywood.

"Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment," she said in a statement obtained by Bustle.

Jared Leto won an Oscar in 2014 for his portrayal of a transgender woman with AIDS in "Dallas Buyers Club." Felicity Huffman earned an Oscar nomination for her role as a trans woman in the 2005 film "Transamerica."

Jeffrey Tambor played transgender woman Maura Pfefferman in Amazon's "Transparent." After winning a second Emmy for that role, he made a plea to Hollywood to open its doors to transgender talent.

"I'm not going to say this beautifully: To you people out there ... please give transgender talent a chance. Give them auditions. Give them their story," Tambor said in his acceptance speech in 2016.

"I would be happy if I were the last cisgender male to play a transgender female," he added.

It was announced in February that Tambor would not be returning for Season 5 of "Transparent" after harassment allegations were made against him.

Huntsville
Broken Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 71°
Florence
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 75°
Fayetteville
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Scottsboro
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18766

Reported Deaths: 651
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2321118
Jefferson1901104
Montgomery185843
Tuscaloosa83616
Marshall7089
Franklin5858
Lee56234
Shelby52819
Tallapoosa43466
Butler42118
Walker3862
Elmore3749
Chambers36026
Madison3534
Unassigned3062
Morgan3021
Baldwin2939
Dallas2923
Lowndes26512
Etowah26312
DeKalb2573
Autauga2415
Coffee2391
Sumter2287
Houston2265
Bullock2176
Pike2120
Colbert1902
Hale1859
Russell1810
Barbour1771
Marengo1756
Lauderdale1722
Calhoun1673
Wilcox1577
Choctaw15310
Cullman1521
Clarke1492
St. Clair1351
Randolph1287
Dale1240
Marion12411
Pickens1205
Talladega1195
Limestone1080
Chilton1071
Greene954
Macon934
Winston910
Jackson833
Covington821
Henry822
Crenshaw783
Bibb761
Escambia753
Washington736
Blount631
Lawrence510
Monroe462
Geneva440
Perry430
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 25190

Reported Deaths: 401
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby5546124
Davidson551666
Trousdale13944
Rutherford134328
Hamilton96419
Sumner93846
Lake8350
Bledsoe6101
Williamson58911
Putnam5246
Robertson5235
Tipton4613
Wilson4498
Knox4355
Out of TN4264
Bedford2974
Montgomery2863
Rhea2170
Hardeman2020
Madison1732
Bradley1661
Macon1663
Loudon1610
Unassigned1610
McMinn14614
Fayette1362
Cheatham1350
Dickson1200
Cumberland1202
Maury1071
Sevier972
Blount933
Coffee780
Washington750
Monroe713
Wayne640
Gibson631
Sullivan602
Lauderdale591
Hickman580
Dyer570
Franklin541
Greene522
Unicoi480
Obion453
Marion441
Hamblen422
Anderson422
DeKalb380
Smith361
Hawkins342
Marshall331
Lawrence330
Haywood332
White330
Cannon320
Overton320
Henry320
Grundy311
Lincoln290
Jefferson290
Carroll281
Meigs270
Warren260
Weakley260
Perry240
Hardin222
Cocke210
Sequatchie200
Johnson190
Polk190
Jackson190
Carter191
Campbell181
Morgan170
Crockett162
Roane160
Henderson150
Humphreys151
McNairy150
Grainger130
Giles130
Stewart130
Claiborne120
Scott120
Fentress120
Chester120
Clay80
Houston80
Benton71
Moore50
Decatur50
Van Buren40
Union40
Lewis30
Pickett30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events