It was recently announced that Scarlett Johansson will be playing the starring role in the upcoming film Rub & Tug.
Based on the true story, Rub & Tug is about Dante ‘Tex’ Gill, a transgender man who ran massage parlors in Pittsburgh (which were fronts for prostitution rings) in the 1970s and 80s.
The problematic casting of Johansson
Many are unhappy about Johansson taking this role, especially after she played an Asian character in 2017’s The Ghost In The Shell. In response to this criticism, Johansson gave a defensive, tone-deaf reply.
‘Tell them they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment,’ Johansson said, referencing the cis actors who played trans characters in recent years.
From this, it’s clear that Johansson doesn’t see the issue of playing roles, as an attractive white cisgender woman, meant for marginalized groups.
With the success of Ryan Murphy’s Pose, which stars five transgender women in trans roles, here is a list of trans male actors who could totally play Dante ‘Tex’ Gill instead of ScarJo.
Cher’s very own flesh and blood! Bono was the first transgender contestant on Dancing With The Stars. He also played a role on American Horror Story: Cult last year. The 49-year-old has also authored numerous books, including Transition, where he talks about life as a trans man.
Phelan is best known for his recurring role on ABC Family’s The Fosters, where he plays a transitioning teenager.
Fletcher had a recurring role on MTV’s Faking It. However, he’s best known for his role on Showtime’s Shameless as the first trans character on the show and the love interest of Ian Gallagher.
Harvie is a stand-up comic. He has made appearances on Young & Hungry and had recurring roles on Mistresses and Amazon’s Transparent.
Emmett Jack Lundberg
Lundberg is a filmmaker and actor. He is best known for his webseries Brothers, which follows the lives of four trans male friends in Brooklyn. Brothers was named one of the best indie TV series in 2014 by Indiewire.
Last summer, a group of transgender actors put together a video urging Hollywood to consider them for roles. With the announcement of Scarlett Johansson’s role as a trans man, it’s clear that the entertainment business still has a long way to go.