ScarJo Is Playing a Trans Man, and Nobody’s Happy About It

Scarlett Johansson previously came under fire for accepting a canonically Asian role in the 2017 film "Ghost in the Shell."

Scarlett Johansson was cast to play a transgender man for her next movie role—and when LGBTQ fans and actors expressed their concerns, the actress dug herself deeper into a hole.

On Monday, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the 33-year-old actress would play the lead in Rub & Tug, a film about a real-life trans man who owned a massage parlor in the ’70s and ’80s. Fans and fellow actors—including trans Sense8 star Jamie Clayton—were critical of Johansson’s choice to accept the role, arguing that it took an opportunity away from a transgender actor.

But things devolved quickly when Johansson addressed the controversy in the worst way possible: by deflecting toward other cis actors who took trans roles, including Transparent’s Jeffrey Tambor, who fell from grace after being accused of sexually assaulting two trans women on set.

“Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment,” Johansson’s team told Bustle, purportedly from the actress herself.

 

It isn’t the first time ScarJo has faced backlash for accepting a marginalized role. The actress also starred in 2017’s Ghost in the Shell, a sci-fi film based off of a Japanese manga of the same name—and helmed by the same director as Rub & Tug.

Johansson’s character was Asian, and fans of the manga were upset to see a white woman cast in a role that was a natural fit for an Asian actor.

 

Production for Rub & Tug begins February 2019.

New York-based writer, editor, and bisexual babe. Enjoys tattoos, iced Americanos, and dismantling the patriarchy.