Scarlett Johansson has withdrawn from a transgender movie role after receiving backlash on social media.
The casting of the actress as crime kingpin Dante “Tex” Gill – who was born a female but identified as a man – in the upcoming film Rub & Tug angered members of the trans community who argued there were multiple trans male actors who should have been giving the opportunity to play the role.
“In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante “Tex” Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project,” Johansson said in a statement to Out Magazine. “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 realise it was insensitive.”
Johansson had originally defended being casted in the role by pointing to other actors, such as Jeffrey Tambor in Transparent who has played transgender roles.