Scarlett Johansson Is Taking Heat Again, This Time For Playing A Trans Man

ScarJo just can't win. Last year Scarlett Johansson took heat for her role in Ghost in the Shell, in which she played a character that is Asian in the source material, leading to a frankly overblown discussion on whitewashing. It was recently reported the actress would star in biopic Rub & Tug, a reunion with that film's director Rupert Sanders, and the role called for her to play Jean Marie Gill, or as he would be later known as, Dante "Tex" Gill. Why is this a big deal and a headache for Johansson? Because Gill was transgender, and Johansson...well, she ain't.

There's more to this than just outrage that an LGBTQ actor hasn't been hired to play the role of Gill, there's the fact that Gill was misidentified in the original reporting. In reality, Gill is nearly always misidentified as a gay woman who cross-dressed as a man, when it turns out Gill had transitioned to male. It's a mistake I made, as well, but to be fair EVERYTHING I've ever read on Gill has misidentified him, even official accounts of his crime activities running massage parlors that were a front for an illegal steroids ring.

Some of the backlash to Johansson's casting has caught up to the actress and she issued this statement: "Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment."

Damn, Widow! She pulled out the award winners on ya'll!  Leto won an Oscar for playing a trans woman in Dallas Buyers Club, while Huffman was an Oscar nominee for her role in Transamaerica. Tambor was the Emmy-winning lead of acclaimed Amazon series Transparent.

I do feel like Johansson is being singled out here, because she's such a high-profile star and due to the controversy stirred by Ghost in the Shell. Her agents probably should have warned her this would happen. As trans stories are being told more and more, and we are seeing a slight increase in the appropriate actors starring in those productions, it's only going to draw more attention when they are passed over for a cisgender star. [Bustle]