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Scarlett Johansson Drops ‘Rub & Tug’ Role after Backlash

Scarlett Johansson has officially announced that she will no longer be a part of the film Rub & Tug. Johansson was set to play Dante Tex Gill, a transgender man who owned a string of massage parlors in Pittsburgh that were fronts for prostitution in the 1970s and 1980s.

The role drew criticism from the LGBTQ community, so much so, that she had to rethink her decision to take the role. In a statement, Johansson acknowledges her misstep.

“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,” she said. “I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues.”

This isn’t the first time Johansson has been criticized for a role she took. She’s been accused of aiding in the whitewashing of Hollywood with her recent film Ghost in the Shell.

“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,” Johansson added.

The LGBTQ community has applauded the actress for her decision to step down from the role. Many have voiced a sigh of relief that the trans community was heard. The LGBTQ community has also stated that while the reaction to Johansson taking the role was mostly negative, they aren’t saying that one can’t play these roles. They are saying that they want to have the opportunity to go out for any type of role, just like cisgendered actors.

sources: cnn,