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Scarlett Johansson admits she ‘mishandled’ backlash after being cast as a transgender man

Nick Duffy November 26, 2019
Scarlett Johansson has admitted she "mishandled" the controversy

Scarlett Johansson has admitted she "mishandled" the controversy (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Scarlett Johansson has admitted she “mishandled” the backlash she received after being cast as a transgender man.

The Avengers star had faced a media storm in 2018 after being cast as real-life trans man Dante ‘Tex’ Gill in film Rub and Tug.

Johansson was initially defensive of the film, telling upset trans people to take it up with Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman – who all controversially played trans people on screen previously.

In the face of a sustained backlash, the actor eventually opted to walk away from the project.

In a new interview, she admitted the row was mishandled.

Scarlett Johansson ‘wasn’t aware’ of trans community’s feelings.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, she said: “In hindsight, I mishandled that situation. I was not sensitive, my initial reaction to it.

“I wasn’t totally aware of how the trans community felt about those three actors playing — and how they felt in general about cis actors playing — transgender people.

“I wasn’t aware of that conversation — I was uneducated. So I learned a lot through that process. I misjudged that… It was a hard time.

“It was like a whirlwind. I felt terribly about it. To feel like you’re kind of tone-deaf to something is not a good feeling.”

US actress Scarlett Johansson attends the premiere of Netflix’s “Marriage Story” in Los Angeles on November 5, 2019. (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images)

The role was not recast after Johansson walked away from the film, despite hopes that the project would be led by a transgender actor.

Avengers star: Industry favours Caucasian, cis gendered actors.

Speaking in July, Johansson had said that she”should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job”.

She later clarified: “I personally feel that, in an ideal world, any actor should be able to play anybody and Art, in all forms, should be immune to political correctness. That is the point I was making, albeit didn’t come across that way.

“I recognise that in reality, there is a wide spread discrepancy amongst my industry that favours Caucasian, cis gendered actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to.

“I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.”

More: rub and tug, Scarlett Johansson, Vanity Fair

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