Scarlett Johansson Quits Trans Film ‘Rub and Tug’ Amid Backlash

More than a week after announcing she would be portraying Dante Tex Gil, a trans man and crime kingpin, Scarlett Johansson has dropped out of the film “Rub and Tug.” “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,” she told Out magazine. Since announcing her role, Johansson has faced fierce backlash from activists and the trans community, reminiscent of when she portrayed an Asian character in the 2017 film “Ghost in the Shell.” “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,” she said in the statement.