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

Paradise lost Clément Cogitore on Braguino the film and installation

Unnatural pleasures Nicolas Pesce on working with Christopher Abbott and Mia Wasikowski and channelling Hitchcock in Piercing

Rendez-Vous With French Cinema smiles When Margaux Meets Margaux, The Art Of Seduction, Amanda and The Trouble With You

A date with darkness Adam Christian Clark on the horrors of the dating scene and making Newly Single

Karl Lagerfeld remembered Documentarians Frédéric Tcheng and James Crump pay tribute

Eighth Grade top of class at WGA Can You Ever Forgive Me? also wins

Synonyms wins Golden Bear Israeli drama takes top prize in Berlin

More news and features

We're bringing you all the latest from the Berlinale.



We're looking forward to the Glasgow Film Festival.



We still have reviews coming in from Sundance.



We've recently been covering the French Film Festival UK, the Scottish Queer International Film Festival, the Marrakech Film Festival and Talinn Black Nights .



Read our full for recent coverage.


Visit our festivals section.

Interact

We've got a great pack of goodies to celebrate the release of Alita: Battle Angel, plus a copy of Bad Times At The El Royale up for grabs in our latest competitions.