Scarlett Johansson stirs up trans controversy
SCARLETT Johansson has caused a backlash after it was announced her latest role will be that of a trans man.
The news follows on from a similar controversy the actress experienced when she was accused of ‘whitewashing’ by playing an originally Asian character 2017’s movie Ghost In The Shell.
Now the 33-year-old has teamed up with the same director, Rupert Sanders, for Rub & Tug, based on the true life story of Jean Marie Gill.
Gill never outright called herself trans, but she lived as a man, with the name Dante ‘Tex’ Gill.
This hasn’t stopped many people objecting to ScarJo taking on the role.
One Twitter user simply wrote: ‘Why are you playing a trans man if you’re not a trans man please stop.’
Another joked: ‘What’s next? Is Scarlett Johansson going to play Barack Obama?’
A third commented scathingly: ‘Scarlett Johansson is playing a trans man in her next movie because her ultimate career goal is to take an acting job from a member of each and every marginalized group.’
ScarJo herself may not have helped matters as she is reported to have told Bustle magazine in response to queries about the role: ‘Tell them they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.’
All three of the actors she names have played trans people while not being trans — not without criticism, it must be said.
But not everyone could understand what all the fuss was about, with one pointing out she is an actor and playing people they aren’t is what they do.
‘An actor isn’t supposed to be, but to act. Movies aren’t documentaries, and actors aren’t their characters,’ they wrote.
Another commenter who is trans themselves wrote: ‘Scarlett Johansson can play any character, I don’t care. If she plays a trans man, fine. As a trans person myself (female to male) I have no problem with it. Leave her be, guys, it’s just a film role.’
A third wondered if this wasn’t all just a bit sexist since: ‘Everyone praised Brokeback mountain for portraying gay main characters [played by straight Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger] and everyone praise Jared Leto in DBC for playing a trans character’.’
Author: Anna Thomson