IF YOU WERE anywhere near the internet last week, there’s a pretty good chance you saw the whole Scarlett Johansson controversy.
If not, here’s a very quick explainer. The 33-year-old actress was facing criticism after it emerged that she was going to be playing a transgender man in a new film. People were angry, but Scarlett responded by saying “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
Wow. What a time to bring up Jeffrey Tambor. On top of that, people were just as angry when Jeffrey, Jared and Felicity decided to take work from transgender actors who would have been more fit to play their roles.
Now, Scarlett has decided to step down from the role.
In a statement to Out.com, Johansson said:
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. Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about casting and realise it was insensitive.
The actress then referenced the fact that LGBTQ+ characters dropped 40% in 2017′s movies, compared to the previous year and that on top of that, there was no representation of trans characters in any major studio release.
While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film.
Finally, Scarlett ended the statement by saying:
I believe that all artists should be considered equally and fairly. My production company, These Pictures, actively pursues projects that both entertain and push boundaries. We look forward to working with every community to bring these most poignant and important stories to audiences worldwide.
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