LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Scarlett Johansson is under fire for her next project with “Ghost in the Shell” director Rupert Sanders.
The actress is set to star in the crime biopic “Rub & Tug,” based on the real life story of Dante “Tex” Gill. Gill was a trans crime boss of the 1970s who ran several illegal massage parlors. In real life, Gill lived his life as a trans man, which led a lot of folks to inquire why a trans actor wasn’t considered for this role.
When the website Bustle reached out to Johansson’s representative for a statement about the vocal concerns, it was sent this response from the actress: “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
Trace Lysette, best known for her work on “Transparent,” took to Twitter to voice her anger. “I wouldn’t be as upset if I was getting in the same rooms as Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett for cis roles,” she wrote. “But we know that’s not the case. A mess.”
Actress Jamie Clayton from “Sense8” and “The Neon Demon” also wrote about her disappointment, stating, “Actors who are trans never even get to audition FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN ROLES OF TRANS CHARACTERS.” She then challenged casting directors to hire more trans actors in non trans roles with a dare.
There’s also confusion swirling around the concept of “Rub & Tug,” which when announced, did not make it clear that “Tex” identified as a man. The problem has only compounded.
Variety has reached out to Johansson’s reps for comment.