Johansson quits transgender role following criticism

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Los Angeles, July 14 (IANS) Actress Scarlett Johansson, who has been criticised for playing a transgender in “Rub & Tug”, has backed out of the film.

The 33-year-old was doing the Rupert Sanders-directed mob drama, in which she was to portray Dante “Tex” Gill, a transgender man who owns a Pittsburgh massage parlour. But has now decided to quit the role, reports etonline.com.

“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 my casting and realize it was insensitive,” Johansson said in a statement to out.com.

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“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.”

Earlier, Johansson was criticized for playing an originally Asian animated character, The Major, in the live-action adaptation of “Ghost in the Shell”. It was also directed by Sanders.

–IANS

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