Earlier this month, controversy ensued after it was announced that Scarlett Johansson would play Dante ‘Tex’ Gill, a trans man, in the upcoming film Rub & Tug. As of 13 July, Johansson stepped down from 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.
‘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 realize it was insensitive. I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues.’
In the first statement Johansson references, she said ‘Tell them they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment’ in response to the backlash. This statement was controversial because she cites other cisgender actors who played trans people on screen in recent years, as if they didn’t also receive similar backlash.
After the news of Johansson bowing out of the role, the LGBTI community on Twitter not only rejoiced, but threw some shade as well. Here are the best tweets about ScarJo’s departure from Rub & Tug.
To exhibit the spirit of generosity I earnestly want to see more of, I am going to take Scarlett Johansson at her word that she listened to feedback, realized that despite her intentions this was going to cause harm, and made the right decision to step down. Well done.
— Jen Richards (@SmartAssJen) July 13, 2018
Scarlett Johansson’s official statement on Rub & Tug: pic.twitter.com/MGnUk6g2So
— Britt Hayes (@MissBrittHayes) July 13, 2018
Now that the LGBT community has pressured heterosexual actor Scarlett Johansson into dropping her role as a transgender, when can we expect heterosexual actor Sean Penn to return his Oscar for “Milk”?
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) July 14, 2018
scarlett johansson dropped out of playing a transgender persxn for the film rub & tug & released a statement saying she “learned a lot from the lgbt community & realized she was insensitive” but ok bitch what about the 23048294 times we called you out on playing asian characters
— Chang (@BIGCHXNGTHEORY) July 13, 2018
At least now Scarlett Johansson can get back to her delayed Anna May Wong biopic
— Ira (@ira) July 13, 2018
A biopic Scarlett Johansson would be PERFECT for. pic.twitter.com/Om5wI7Z6eR
— Frida Kalokhu ✨ (@Zamalisa) July 14, 2018
I say they hire Scarlett Johansson to play a major role as a cis man in a film. Imagine the backlash from the cishets if they cast her to play a major male lead. Scarlett Johansson as Ronald Reagan. That’ll get them going.
— alpha gay (@YoungGawhd) July 14, 2018
I can’t wait to play Scarlett Johansson as an actress who almost played a a trans guy in a Lifetime about when she almost played a trans man
— Annie Lederman (@annielederman) July 14, 2018
The part social media played for Scarlett Johansson to drop a trans role isn’t a bad thing. She first thought it was just a role, she had seen so many actors do the same in the past (her literal response to backlash) but just because it’s been done before doesn’t make it right.
— (@itsjustanx) July 13, 2018
Scarlett Johansson; thank you for finally stepping down from a role you never should have taken.
Hollywood; next time don’t fucking cast a cis woman for a male role and you won’t get so much backlash ♂️ go figure #ScarlettJohanson #transpride #transmen
— Alex the Trans Boy (@AlexTheTransBo1) July 14, 2018
Scarlett Johansson, a female actress, got cast in a male role.
Because the male is trans.
That perpetuates the idea that trans MEN are actually just WOMEN. And vise versa.
If you agree with that or think Scarlett wasn’t in the wrong then kindly get the fuck out of my mentions
— Incorrect Teen Squad™ (@IncrrctNerds) July 14, 2018
So, they might cast Scarlett Johansson for the movie about the Thai Soccer team, right? Do you think she should be the coach or one of the boys?
— BARBS1978 (@BARBS1978) July 14, 2018
— ShermanJoaks (@ShermanJoaksCA) July 14, 2018