Trans male actors have mocked Scarlett Johansson following her being cast in a transgender role for the upcoming film Rub & Tug. Check out the clip below.
Johansson was cast as Lois Jean Gill in the movie, which is based on Gill’s real-life story. Gill was born female but later assumed the identity of a man – Dante “Tex” Gill – and operated a massage parlour and prostitution business in Pittsburgh in the 1970s and ’80s. Gill was later convicted of tax evasion in 1984 – and spent seven years in prison as a result. He died in 2003.
News of the controversial casting was met with protests and online backlash. Many argued that the role should have been given to a transgender actor. Johansson later released a statement, which referenced other prominent actors who have landed transgender roles. “Tell them they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment,” she said.
The statement added further fuel to the backlash.
Now, a group of trans male actors feature in a new video which sees them auditioning for well-known Johansson roles. The video starts with the actor Justin reading for the role of Charlotte from 2001’s Ghost World. Other ‘auditions’ include characters from The Avengers and Her.
At the end of the clip, one of the actors is offered a role – but turns it down. “Sorry, I’m just having trouble because cis women are actually really marginalised in Hollywood,” he says. “I mean, I know that there are people who have lived this experience and would bring a lot of authenticity to it, and I feel a little weird taking that from them.”
Rub & Tug sees Johansson work once again with Ghost In The Shell director Rupert Sands. The pair were accused of whitewashing around the 2017 movie. Johansson played Major Motoko Kusanagi in the film, which was based on a cult manga and subsequent anime movie.