Scarlett Johansson drops out of trans role

Actress will no longer appear in Rub & Tug

by Jennie Kermode

Scarlett Johansson withdraws from Rub & Tug
Scarlett Johansson withdraws from Rub & Tug Photo: Gage Skidmore

Scarlett Johansson has announced that she will no longer be appearing in Rub & Tug, a biopic of mafioso Dante 'Tex' Gill, after protests about her casting as the famous gangster.

"I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project," she told Out.com. "Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community."

She acknowledged that an earlier statement on the subject, in which she referred to the casting of other cisgender actors in trans roles, had been insensitive, adding "I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues."

The initial casting decision was controversial because many felt that the role should have gone to a trans man, and there were further concerns that the film was reinterpreting Gill as a butch lesbian. Ito followed controversy over Johansson's casting in Ghost In The Shell, in a role that many people felt should have gone to an Asian woman.

Share this with others on...
News

For the love of lemurs Mark C Smith on taking the plunge into stop-motion animation with Two Balloons

The image maker Tiffany Bartok on Isabella Rossellini, Tori Amos and Larger Than Life: The Kevyn Aucoin Story

Filming family Cyril Aris talks about documenting his grandparents' lives in The Swing

A sixth sense David Frenkel discusses the subjects of Claude Lanzmann's The Four Sisters

Faith on the doorstep Amy Geller and Gerald Peary on their upcoming documentary The Rabbi Goes West

San Sebastian announces first New Directors titles A look at the 13 up-and-coming directors selected.

More news and features

We're bringing you all the latest from the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal.



We're looking forward to Frightfest in London.



We've recently been at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival.



Read our full for recent coverage.


Visit our festivals section.

Interact

Win some great merchandise in our latest competition. To celebrate the release of The Secret Of Marrowbone in cinemas, we've got a bundle of goodies up for grabs, plus win a copy of Sweet Country on Blu-ray.