Scarlett Johansson arrogantly defends her casting as a transgender man

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Even though Scarlett Johansson has repeatedly shown us that she has terrible views and terrible friends and a deep vein of arrogance, I honestly still gave her chances. She’s not all bad, I would argue, because she has *some* okay views about some stuff. Plus, I would argue, she’s one of the biggest actresses in Hollywood, and we don’t have to tear down *everyone*. But I’m over it now. The combination of her consistent Woody Allen love, her support of Marchesa and her arrogant lies about the whitewashing around Ghost in the Shell… it’s enough. But now there’s a whole new layer of awfulness.

Ghost in the Shell - the film where ScarJo played a Japanese character – was directed by Rupert Sanders. The film bombed, but Sanders and ScarJo got along well. Well enough where they’re rejoining for a film based on the true story of Dante “Tex” Gill. The film is called Rub & Tug, and Scarlett will playing Tex Gill, a transgender man who owned a massage parlor in 1970s Pittsburgh which was a front for prostitutes. Basically, ScarJo is going to do drag and call herself a trans man for the role. When people criticized Scarlett, Rupert Sanders and producers for not hiring a transgender actor for the role, Scarlett took it upon herself to respond to criticism directly:

When asked for comment on the reaction to her new film, Johansson’s rep provided this comment on Rub & Tug to Bustle from the actor herself: “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”

[From Bustle]

She’s referencing Jared Leto’s performance in Dallas Buyers Club (which won him an Oscar), Felicity’s role in Transamerica (which got her an Oscar nomination) and Tambor’s performance in Transparent, which won countless TV awards. Incidentally, Tambor was fired from that show after he repeatedly harassed transgender advisors and employees on the show. It’s also worth noting that Tambor’s casting was heavily criticized, and the showrunner has said repeatedly that if she had to do it all over again, she wouldn’t have hired a cisgendered actor for the role.

ScarJo’s argument is basically “well, those cisgender actors did it and won awards, WHY NOT ME?” Because we grow as a society, because every year there’s more awareness of trans visibility, and we know more and more about the need to see trans people in films, television and in the world. Why not hire ScarJo? Because we’ve moved past this idea that we need to fill these roles with cisgender actors as a default, especially when the character was a real man. The arrogance of Scarlett is really something, isn’t it? She really doesn’t give a sh-t – she’s so obviously just doing this because she thinks it will get her tons of awards. Maybe some day she’ll live the dream and play a transgender Japanese man.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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154 Responses to “Scarlett Johansson arrogantly defends her casting as a transgender man”

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  1. Lydia says:

    I know what you mean with the ‘she has some okay views about some things’. I don’t get how she willingly takes another role that could/should have been for a minority though.

    Clearly didn’t learn.

    • Beth says:

      She took this role for the same reason she takes others. Money.
      I don’t know if she’ll ever learn or care

      • Mia4s says:

        No I think it’s worse than that. She has money, millions from Marvel and they paid her a ridiculous amount of money for that garbage bomb Ghost in the Shell.

        What do Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman have in common? (Oh and also Eddie Redmayne who seems to skate through controversy by being dull and taupe but posh and British)? Awards and/or nominations. Scarlett doesn’t have an Oscar, she’s never even been nominated. In short, she’s thirsty.

        Look if people haven’t figured out she’s awful and ignorant beyond measure I don’t know what to tell you. Another maladjusted ex-child star. I suppose we will have to tolerate her in Avengers 4 but other than that she is easily discounted. Just not worth it.

      • SympathyRage says:

        I appreciate that actors are eager to take on a role, and have no doubt she could do a good job, truly. But she doesn’t need to represent the trans community, because those within it are perfectly capable of being visible when they aren’t shoved off their own platform by a self-congratulatory, ignorant asshole. It is like she thinks that because she played a philosophy major in a movie once that she is actually part of the intelligentsia, and is contributing in some way to this conversation by becoming it.

      • DragonWise says:

        I agree with Mia4S, she is just dying to be seen as a serious, intellectual and humanitarian actress who is above all the fray and has an armfull of awards and admiring recognition of her peers. Yes, she’s thirsty as f___! She wants it so bad, she will make the same terrible choices others have made, working with Woody Allen and defending wrong -headed and insensitive casting choices like Ghost and this. But, times have changed, and the underrepresented are tired of this crap, and hold the people putting this kind of stuff out responsible for their garbage views. I will be thrilled when this arrogant, insensitive little grifter idiot goes down.

      • Milla says:

        But that’s her job. Why can’t we use this energy to focus on casting people? They asked, she said yes, for money. If she didn’t they would find another famous actress.

      • DragonWise says:

        It is not her job to take Asian roles and participate in trans erasure. And if she thinks that is her job, she can suffer the backlash to her choices. She’s in no way innocent, and she just doesn’t care that her choices hurt people. In fact, she’s willing to duck behind a trash fire like Jeffrey Tamboor to justify herself, which says so very much about her judgment.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        @Milla she is a producer on the film. So she literally cast herself. And we need to get past this enabling of actors and actresses who do this sort of thing. Responsibility lies with casting but it also lies with people who are complicit and take the roles.

      • Alyse says:

        @Mia4s (Aside from the main point – which is YES, dick move from Scarlett, she should and does know better)
        But I’m actually shocked she hasn’t been nominated!! Not because I think she’s amazing, I just assumed Lost in Translation/Girl with a Pearl Earring year she was (google says no – she got every nom except Oscar that year).
        I remember she was the Jennifer Lawrence that year, the hot blonde it girl in the red dress all over the awards.
        Huh my memory and 2007 (or whenever it was) self is SHOOK

    • Rescue Cat says:

      ‘But she doesn’t need to represent the trans community, because those within it are perfectly capable of being visible when they aren’t shoved off their own platform by a self-congratulatory, ignorant asshole. ‘


      Great post.

    • annie says:

      I’ve always found her annoying and never understood what all the fuss was about.

    • Snazzy says:

      I cancelled her after the whole Oxfam – Soda Stream mess

  2. Becks1 says:

    I have never really been a fan of hers – didn’t actively dislike her, just didn’t get the hype – but her Woody Allen love has become a big issue for me and after Ghost in the Shell, I was just completely over her. And now with this – the casting choice itself is bad enough, but her response is really awful.

    • minx says:

      IMO She’s nothing special as an actress. She got attention early on with Girl with a Pearl Earring because she didn’t have to do too much but look nubile.

      • Wisca says:


      • Beer&Crumpets says:

        For real. Colin Firth acted his face off and she got props for basking in HIS reflected glory. She’s the human equivalent of unflavored Cream of Wheat. Well…. Tit-flavored Cream of Wheat, actually. But I still don’t understand the appeal, even with the tit-flavor.

    • magnoliarose says:

      She has continued to demonstrate over and over again that she is a jerk. She surrounds herself with jerks and has behaved like a jerk for years and years.
      I especially hate that she is trying to hide behind other actors. Oh, sure Jared Leto the skeeve who should be a pariah he sets a great example. Follow him! Felicity took the role at a time when transgender issues weren’t even discussed openly. I think it was still LGB and the T wasn’t even included yet. It was daring to even make the movie period. Jeffrey was a mistake.
      After her Japanese hijack job you would think she would have learned something but Noooo. She’s so stupid she paired up the equally dense director of that same movie that BOMBED!
      But she has a raspy deep voice so you know she could totally pull it off. (sarc)

      • bettyrose says:

        The timing with Felicity Huffman’s role was very different, but they’re also very different actors. ScarJo’s entire (post-adolescent) MO has been sex bomb. Felicity Huffman is an actor who has demonstrated an ability to blend into a character outside her real life persona. ScarJo has not. (ScarJo is in plenty of fun movies that I love to watch. Not even hating on her, just pointing out the extreme difference).

  3. RBC says:

    The creators of Pose(love that show!) went out and found transgender women to be cast on their show. Couldn’t the producers have done the same with this movie or was it more of a case they needed a big name attached to the movie?

    • Prettykrazee says:

      She is a producer. So she is casting herself. They can’t even use the ‘We need a big name to make money’ excuse considering how badly GITS flopped. She is obviously angling for some awards by casting herself. What I don’t get is why not cast herself as someone else? Maybe a girlfriend? She can still get the awards but also everyone talking about how right she got it by casting a transgender man. She seems like a crappy producer who took the easy way out by casting herself.

      • tealily says:

        One word: ego. She’s the star or nothing. And truly, I think she’s so completely out of touch politically and socially, that she didn’t know there would be a backlash or that she would engender good will by casting a transman.

      • tealily says:

        Double post, sorry.

  4. Caitlin Bruce says:

    She is one of the most aggroant actors there is. And that REALLY is saying something. She acts like she’s this multi award winning actress she’s not. She’s not even been nominated for a Academy Award and hopefully she never will be if her attitude stays the same

  5. Clare says:

    Didn’t learn? She doesn’t CARE.

    She is the worst.

    Entitled, ignorant and really far up her own arse. It’s insane to me that she hasn’t been thoroughly cancelled. I know she is in the wildly successful marvel films, but frankly it’s a little shocking to me that some of those people continue to want to work with her.

    • Becks1 says:

      And I feel like the Marvel movies would be successful regardless of her role in them. Some of those actors make the franchise; I just don’t think she is one of them.

      • TaraT3 says:

        Agreed. And I actually think she is terrible as Black Widow.

      • Darla says:

        She IS terrible as Black Widow!

      • magnoliarose says:

        Agreed. She sucks as Black Widow. She’s one of the actors that live off of hype and early success. Like she’s supposed to be something but never lives up to it. Her performances have been uneven and she’s been in loads of mediocre films. She never quite delivers. I am always left unsatisfied after watching her.

      • Jordan says:

        This post made a realization occur. She’s barely anything in the marvel movies so I’ve always considered her mediocre. I remember I watched ‘he’s just not that into you’ two months ago (movie made me love Aniston tbh) and Scarlett was the worst actress out of that whole group. I hadn’t realized I’ve only seen her in marvel and now that movie. Girl can’t act. She is just a tad bit better than JLaw (her lines in the X-men movies are like her reading it straight from the script) in that she sounded furious at Bradley Cooper’s character after being locked in his work closet.

      • Grant says:

        I read somewhere that Emily Blunt was going to be Black Widow, but that she had to drop out due to scheduling. Such a tragedy, as I think Emily has way more of the gravitas and sophistication necessary to pull off Natasha Romanova.

      • bettyrose says:

        She is a non-entity in those movies. She has boring lines, dull action scenes, and is basically parsley on the side of a mildly tasty entree.

      • Lydia says:

        One thing about her role in the Marvel movies, though. She’s never been the main character and she is constantly written differently from movie to movie: playing whatever role needed to prop up the male main character.

        Marvel has been really shitty in that way: the Marvel universe is more than a decade and many movies old, but we’re still waiting for the first female main character to lead her own movie.

    • Miles says:

      The Marvel films would do the same with or without her. In the last several years, Marvel films are all she’s had in terms of success and they’re successful despite her. Her post Marvel career will be flop after flop and while I always want women in the industry to be successful, I won’t care if she flops. It’ll open the door for other women in the industry who are actually decent human beings to have the chances that she’s been getting.

  6. Grabbyhands says:

    If she has a PR team, they must either really hate her or she pays a lot of money to ignore them.

    I mean, out of all the possible responses, THIS was deemed the best?

    It is so arrogant and lazy and I’m tired of the argument that she is an actress and is hired to play different people and so it’s okay to be dismissive of the reality that trans actors aren’t even approached to play these lead roles about their own community.

  7. Shambles says:

    There are transgender actors. Visibility is important. This is wrong. Period. Especially because she’s clearly exploiting the transgender community for an Oscar.

    She is peak white CIS privilege/fragility. She has no desire to learn. You call her on her sh!t and she digs her heels in. I have no patience for people like that anymore, but I have to have patience for them because it’s my work as a white lady to call other white people on their sh!t. Ugh. I’m frustrated this morning, as you can tell.

    • Enough Already says:

      Wait. You’re white?!
      Lol holy hell, my fangirling must have had me in a Shambles haze. How did I not know this?

      • Shambles says:

        Lolz. Yes. I am a white lady. I’ve said that a lot all over this site today only because there is some serious white lady bullsh!t happening ALL OVER THE PLACE. Like, wtf? Three actresses with some nonsense before 9 a.m.

    • DragonWise says:

      Exactly, Shambles. She’s the epitome of privileged white feminism, all the way down to her defensiveness and fragility. Nailed it.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      I’m riding in the car with you Shambles. I’ve left get-togethers because of white idiocy. I’m done with stupid and entitled.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Shambles. I know your pain girl. I know I know.
      I am tired of white women on my white woman nerves. I went to a wedding yesterday and there was a woman there that I really wanted to full arm slap she was so steeped in her privilege.
      There has been a rumor that some of the babies kidnapped at the border are being funneled to Christian groups so that they can be adopted. I don’t know if it is actually true. BUT this woman voiced (WITHOUT IRONY) that the unfortunate mothers would probably be relieved since they came for a better life for their children. Since the poor brave mothers will likely be sent back to be either trafficked or worse at least their babies will be safe.
      I had to restrain myself because she and I were part of the wedding party but mercy on my soul this bitch was too much. I avoided her after because every time I looked at her I wanted to scream in her face.

      • Shambles says:

        Ho. Ly. SH!T. That is some white savior bullsh!t right there. I would have thrown a glass of champagne in her face. I’m so tired of these women!!! Get your sh!t together! But every time I get exhausted I think about the fact that women of color would tell me to toughen up because… “welcome to my world.” You know?

  8. Shannon says:

    *shrug* I guess opinions differ, as always. I’m neither a fan nor a non-fan and have no opinion. But a friend of mine whose grandson is trans – they are both happy about the ScarJo choice and can’t wait to see the movie. The truth is, as they both pointed out, ScarJo is a big name who will have better luck drawing people to see the movie. At this time, other than Laverne Cox, I’m unaware of any big-name trans actors, especially with the name-recognition of ScarJo. So going from their perspective, I can’t help but see this as a tempest in a tea pot. Yeah, her response was a little salty but even celebrities have their salty moments I’m sure.

    • Queenb says:

      Thats a great perspective if you never want to have a trans star.

      Why not cast men in every female role? Maybe it will get more people to see movies about women? And then when someone asks “Shouldnt we cast women in female roles?” You say “Well there are no famous women.”

      Also they are working with the public and they have a team of professionals. A salty answer is way less forgivable than from a random person on twitter. She wasnt even asked this in a live interview but had time to think about it!

      • Shannon says:

        Personally I don’t care. I rarely see movies. I’m merely sharing the opinions of two others who are far closer to the issue at hand, and their views make sense to me. If you continue to feature trans characters in movies people will go see due to the names involved, you ARE getting closer to trans stars because you are getting the public more used to these characters in general. Soon trans will not be as “scary” to people. But guaranteed, if they found a trans actor and put them in the role and that person wasn’t famous, there’s very little chance of the movie reaching a larger audience. Like it or not, trans is still considered scary and abnormal by a large number of people – I don’t agree with it, but there it is. It’s the growing pains of a movement and sad that it has to be that way, but there it is. Gay actors have played straight, straight actors have played gay, I’d love to see more trans actors. But we’re not there yet and to pretend we are is impractical. Let’s celebrate that we have trans ROLES and have some patience as this opens up, not attack an actor for accepting a role that is actually part of the process of continuing this dialogue?

      • Mia4s says:

        If people will go see the movie because of the names involved, why not have Scarlett take a co-starring role and lift up a trans performer by lending her celebrity to the project? I’ll tell you why, because she’s insecure and THIRSTY as hell for an Oscar. In that light it’s a pleasure to see her called out and know she won’t even be nominated if the movie is good because of this controversy. It’s good to see.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        The only way to move past non-inclusion is inclusion. We don’t need the mighty white muscle to lay coats over puddles for safe passage.

      • Lydia says:

        @Queenb, that is a very good comparison.

    • TrixC says:

      I don’t think that’s a good comparison QueenB, women are 50% of the population so studios would have no problem finding someone to cast for a female role. Being trans is pretty rare, so there isn’t exactly a big pool of trans actors to choose from, and I’m assuming being trans is not the only requirement to be a good fit for the part. Like Shannon I can’t name a single trans Male actor (laverne cox is a trans woman so obviously wouldn’t fit here). Would it be great if there were more trans actors? Sure. Should the studio be obligated to take a chance on an unknown actor? I don’t think so.

      • OriginalLala says:

        There are trans actresses – a few posted some really well thought out responses to this poor casting choice yesterday. I encourage you all to read them. The gist being that, they as trans actresses are never even allowed in the audition room for a cis role so they are rightfully upset that this very visible trans role was given to a cis woman and no trans actresses were even auditioned.

        Plus. Scarlett is a shit person – how much more until people stop watching her movie?

      • S says:

        QueenB’s point is very valid. Not being able to “name a single black actor” in the 1950s, wasn’t a good reason to keep hiring white men to perform in blackface. Or, not being able to name a single “actress over 50″ isn’t a good reason to cast a 19-year-old and use old age makeup. You can say the same for any race, orientation, ethnicity. See: Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and a 1,000 other examples from early, and not so-early Hollywood…Like, Rooney Mara’s recent casting as the Native American Tiger Lily in an upcoming Peter Pan movie, Emma Stone as a multi-racial Pacific Islander in Aloha, Johnny Depp, again as a Native American, in Lone Ranger and on and on.

        “But there just aren’t any well-known Native American/Pacific Islander/Asian/Indian/Arabic/etc actors” is just a B.S., self-perpetuating, nonsense excuse.

        It’s a paradox. If your criteria is that an actor has to be well known to be cast, and there are no well known trans actors, THEN THERE NEVER WILL BE. Because they’ll never cross the hurdle of being “known” in order to get work and BE known. See how that works?

    • hindulovegod says:

      Your position is blackface apologist. It’s as horrific and tone deaf now as it was then.

    • tealily says:

      Do you know why you know who Laverne Cox is? Because somebody cast her.

    • Ellie says:

      ScarJo’s films have tanked before. Big names have films that flop all the time. Breakout stars happen all the time and create big hits. Her fame, alone, is no excuse to cast her.

    • Marianne says:

      I totally get a studio wanting to put an actor with name recognition in their movie to create buzz. But how do trans actors get name recognition themselves unless a studio is willing to take a chance on them.

  9. Kate says:

    Honestly, we do not give ScarJo enough credit. How many actors or actresses could play a big-breasted blonde ingenue, an Asian-American and a trans man? Truly the most versatile actress of our time *heavy sarcasm*

    • RBC says:

      Next we will hear is that she is up for the part of Winnie Mandela in a upcoming film. Then she will truly be a versatile actress “heavy sarcasm”

      • Kate says:

        Next year on your screen, ScarJo in The Amazing Nina Simone!

      • magnoliarose says:

        Hahaha! Good throwback reference.
        My vision for her is the leading role for the Shaquille O’Neal bio that is making the rounds. They are just dying to get a clueless white woman as the lead before they can entice Meryl Streep to play his mother.

  10. Queenb says:

    This defense is so infuriating. Not only because its so dismissive and doesnt adress it AT ALL it CLEARLY shows they know there is a problem and just point their finger at others. Also there was backlash against Leto and Tambor (and I am not talking about the sexual assault allegations). With Huffman it was a different time.

    Scarlett was already canceled but kudos to her for digging even deeper. That takes commitment.

    Its white feminism in a nutshell. Its basically if any man has ever done something its fine if women do it too which is such a willful misinterpretation of feminism. But what do we expect of rich white women?

  11. Miles says:

    What are her okay views about stuff? That she doesn’t like Trump? Because other than that this woman has some pretty awful views about everything else. And I’ve said this for YEARS about her but folks would just ignore how awful she is for whatever reason. Not only did she support Woody Allen, she still to this day has dinner and lunch with him like it’s no big deal. She didn’t care about stealing the role from an Asian actress in Ghost of The Shell despite the fact that she doesn’t even need the money! How about her support of SodaStream despite it coming out how they treat Palestinians? The list goes on and on. This woman is terrible and no she doesn’t deserve a chance because she has some okay views on things. We don’t need to tear down everyone, that is correct, but when someone continually shows the type of person they are, maybe it’s best they do get torn down in order to give those who are actually willing to grow, change and become better people a chance at showing that.

    Just because she’s one of the biggest actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t give her a pass to continually being a crappy person. We don’t give passes to other women in the industry who aren’t as big as her so why should she?

  12. Lyla says:

    I’m surprised she didn’t include Hilary Swank in the list. 🙄

  13. Rapunzel says:

    Worse than ScarJo’s casting is the fact that this movie seems to be going along with the mislabeling Tex Gil as a woman Pretending to be a man. As offensive as the casting is, I’m more offended by the use of the improper pronoun. It’s the fact that I don’t think this movie is going to take a proper look at the subject matter anyway.

    • Kitty says:

      I don’t understand how Rupert sanders keeps getting work, especially big budget films. He’s a disaster and his movies bomb…white man I guess?

      • S says:

        Exactly! Of course HE thinks this casting is “genius,” he’s been failing upwards for a decade now. Snow White and the Huntsman? Ghost in the Shell? Both money losers (some say Snow White MAY have barely broken even, at best), the latter HUGELY, but here he is still given chances because…reasons. And yet Ryan Coogler coming off two blockbuster, award-winning projects that performed wildly above expecations is considered a “daring” choice to be handed a superhero movie? And Ava DuVernay needs to secure a freaking dump truck of awards and then folks still gasp when someone FINALLY hands her a big budget movie…which is immediately dubbed a flop when it “only” makes 132 million, even though no African-American women’s movie had ever broken the 100 million barrier before. Now, the current common Hollywood “wisdom” is that DuVernay is too big a risk so her next projects are all docs or TV movies, while a talentless trash fire like Sanders can wallow in scandal (costing studios millions in bad PR), turn out $100 million flop after flop and still be handed $200 million budgets.

        F all of this noise. All of it. His incompetence and grossness with actresses who work with him AND ScarJo’s ignorance, complacency and arrogance. She shouldn’t take the role, because it’s clearly not designed for her. But she also shouldn’t take it because Sanders already directed the biggest bomb of her career, and here she is ready to sign up for that all over again. Scarlett Johansson: Queen of the self-own.

        Sadly, like her director, she’ll almost certainly continue to fail upwards because…pretty white girl. Sigh.

  14. Melania says:

    Scarlett Johansson is a mess

  15. e says:

    An awful, self-absorbed woman.

  16. jwoolman says:

    Is Hollywood overflowing with trans men who are also good enough actors for the role? Isn’t that group a relatively small portion of the trans population even before having to consider ability to act? I would assume it would be easier to cast a real trans woman for a trans woman role just because of the numbers. Some non-professionals can give a good performance if properly directed, though.

    Does anybody know some names to toss out for a real trans man of the right age range who can already act at the required level?

    Not sure if this woman is a great choice either, though.

    • Rapunzel says:

      Chaz Bono is the only name that comes to mind. But these producers could talk to Ryan Murphy. I’m sure he’d be able to find a suitable performer.

      • jwoolman says:

        Is Chaz an actor? And yes, he has more of the right build although he would need padding (he lost a lot of weight and got into good shape, unless he relapsed).

        I don’t know why, maybe the transition is easier for some physical or cultural reason – but whenever I’ve seen people clearly identified as trans men, they have just seemed like men to me with nothing obvious to suggest female heritage. Which raises the question, wouldn’t it make more sense to cast a born-male man in the role if no born-female men were available? She seems like such an odd choice. Tex was a tough and nasty guy from what I’ve read.

    • Anatha. A says:

      Chaz Bono… Actually looks like Dante Gill as well.

    • A says:

      Chaz Bono would fit. With some good direction (i.e. not Sanders; he should have been a cinematographer, imo, he’s good at imagry rather than directing) I think he’d pull up a good performance.

      Edit: Ha – great minds think alike!

      • jwoolman says:

        Yes, the director makes all the difference. So the casting search does not have to be limited to people with acting experience. They just have to figure out how to test for the right potential.

    • Jenns says:

      Meh. If I, in my small life, know a couple of trans men, I’m pretty sure Hollywood would be able to find a talented trans male actor in their ranks. BUT, that would take effort on their part. I think until it affects their bottom line, many in the film industry take the easy way out. And, like many celebrity “activists”, Scarlett is only concerned when it’s not something she wants to do. I agree, Tex seemed like a very rough and tough guy. Scarlett is bad casting.

    • eto says:

      Honestly, there are plenty of people who have never been given a chance at this level. It’s unfair to ask for the “required experience” when we can say just from this story, they aren’t even being given the chance to get to that level. If you recall the thread about the backlash when they cast Matt Bomer in a trans role, they are tons of trans actors out there. It’s Hollywood’s OWN FAULT they don’t have a pool of people with the “required experience”.

  17. Loopy says:

    Hollywood doesn’t care about telling stories ita all about making bank. So unfortunately they need to cast ‘known’ actors for these roles to pull the audience.

    • Kate says:

      We saw how well that reasonning worked with Ghost in the Shell, also starring ScarJo.

    • jwoolman says:

      Well, you can’t get much more famous than Cher’s son Chaz Bono….

      Besides, his mom would be thrilled. Which might not be a selling point for Chaz.

    • Tania says:

      If that were true they wouldn’t keep giving Rupert Sanders money and ScarJo wouldn’t have a career beyond Marvel. She is not a good actress. He is not a good director. This movie will make less money than Ghost In A Shell.

    • magnoliarose says:

      That is the excuse and yet box office numbers tell a different story. No one runs out to see a ScarJo movie. They just don’t. If the film is good and it gets buzz it will be seen with the right promotion and a reasonable budget.
      It is also easy to surround a new talent with bigger actors.
      Remember The Crying Game? Jaye Davidson was/is an openly gay black actor who was and they cast him as a transgender woman. He was androgynous looking at the time so at least it made some sense. Now that was 1992. In 2018 we can’t do better? Really?

  18. Nene says:

    I cant help but wonder how many people saying she’s cancelled for taking a job would actually give up their jobs to further someone from a disadvantaged group…

    • S says:

      Seems relevant that Scarlett Johansson has a net worth somewhere in the range of $100 million without making this movie. She’s not exactly the struggling single mom at the Stop and Shop, who suspects she got her gig based solely on her looks. Maybe save your pity?

    • Kate says:

      Some people have integrity and dislike racism, transphobia, erasure of marginalized communities and child molestation. ScarJo is not one of these people.

    • LP says:

      @nene Gee what a good question! Here’s the answer: if I had literal millions of dollars, international name recognition, and the chance to take a different role in the same movie, you bet your sweet a** I’d give it up! Especially if my taking it was perpetuating harm in my industry! Thanks for asking and have a GREAT day!


    • magnoliarose says:

      She isn’t giving up anything. SHE is producing this and creating it for herself. More apt would be, “How many would create a job that calls for a minority but would instead take it for themselves?”
      I wouldn’t do that. It is horrible.

  19. Kate says:

    ScarJo is unrepetent trash, news at 10. Also, why is Rupert still directing anything? The only memorable thing that happened in his movies was that one time he f*cked his main actress in a Mini-Cooper on the set of a movie also starring his WIFE. I swear, white men really do fail up.

  20. chubcucumber says:

    What bugs me about this topic in general is that casting cis actors of a different gender than the character is basically saying that transpeople are not *really* their gender. It sends the harmful and transphobic message that transmen are women dressed up as men and transwomen are men dressed up as women.

    If a cis actor is the only option to play Tex Gill (it’s not but if it were, if they insist they need a Big Name) then they should cast a cis man in the role, not a cis woman.

  21. Cle says:

    I wonder if Dante Gill had a sex change surgery and hormone therapy in 1970s? If yes, that’s if not ok for Scarlett to play him, if not, than she can do it because he still lived his life in a body of a woman, which Scarlett undoubtedly possesses. If he was still in woman’s body that means he had the same sex as ScarJo (a woman). And if gender is a matter of a personal identification, that means that it can be “faked” by acting like anything else.

    In this case Scarlett will play a man just like Cate Blanchett played Bob Dylan, by the magic of acting and pretending.

    • Tanesha86 says:

      So you’ve just shown the world you don’t have a clue when it comes to trans people. This comment seriously gives me second hand embarrassment.

    • LP says:

      I’ve seen a couple comments acting as though sex change surgery is what makes you trans- Tex Gill wanted to be known as a man and referred to himself as a man. Tying gender identity into “have you had the surgery?” is harmful bullsh*t. Laverne Cox has made several good points about this if you want more info.

      • Cle says:

        @LP, @Tanesha86, please, educate yourself on the difference between gender and sex. His biological sex is female, his gender is male. I never said you MUST undergo a surgery to be considered a trans person, please, don’t put words in my mouth.
        All I said is if he did undergo surgery and hormone therapy Scarlett is not the best option because she doesn’t have manly features and hormones do change how you look.
        You can’t magically change your sex by the power of thought (like race or height). His sex was female and his gender was male. And since gender is something you identify with and is basically your personality it can be “faked” by the power of acting. that’s what actors do. what’s next? Actors who are not really in love can’t play lovers cause love is sacred?

    • LP says:

      @cle I am sorry to be combative but that is literally the opposite of what I’ve heard every trans person say. My understanding (as a cis person) is that splitting hairs over how much surgery one has had is harmful to the community. Your comment that it’s just acting perpetuates the stereotype that trans people are pretending. It is absolutely the same as race, and again this is based off my understanding of trans people from their own words.

      • Derriere says:

        I think that you are misunderstanding something. ScarJo will be acting a role. She may even closely resemble the titular character with or w/o makeup, prosthetics, etc.
        She might even act her butt off and do justice to the role.

        But for me, there is no reason why they couldn’t hire a trans actor, outside of money and ScarJo wanting festival accolades. There are too many talented trans actors for this to be a good, ethical decision.

        Outside of that, I don’t think ScarJo has the clarity to play this role given the questionable professional choices she has made in the past.

      • Cle says:

        @LP, “Your comment that it’s just acting perpetuates the stereotype that trans people are pretending.” HOW??? If someone plays a role of a mother, does it mean she or he pretends to love their child in real life? your comment makes no sense.
        Please, read my response, there’s a difference between biological sex and gender.
        It’s true that you can’t “pretend” to be something you are physically not (like play a person of other race), and it’s not the case in this situation. Because physically both ScarJo and the character are females according to their biological sex.
        Don’t get me wrong, i DON’T question anyone’s right to identify however they want and live a free life. I’m talking about factual biological attribute which is a match in this case (female/female). If your point is that we need to see more transgender people in movies, I agree with you. And I’d love to see, say, a transgender man in a role of a regular man going on an adventure or living his life. Not a just playing a stereotypical role. Something Jake Gyllenhaal would audition for, you know. Otherwise it’s like seeing Native Americans play only stereotypical roles of wise chiefs in a period movie. Put a man in a suit and modern setting for the love of God!

    • magnoliarose says:

      Cle you are missing the point entirely.
      The best way to educate yourself is to interact with members of the trans community. You are lost when it comes to the subject.

      Actors who are in the minority should at least be able to play themselves on screen. It isn’t a big sacrifice for white actors to give up a tiny percentage of roles to others. It is selfish and insensitive.
      A transgender actor has very few opportunities while Scarlett has plenty. So many she can make crap movies that make NO money and still demand millions per role. Her pattern is consistently overlooking this to make more movies she doesn’t belong in.

      • Cle says:

        @magnoliarose, I think you are missing the point. I’m not arguing wether she should give up this role (sure, it’s always better to give an opportunity to someone, especially to a member of the underserved community) but rather does she has the moral right to play this part. It’s like should you donate money or should you buy another purse. Both are acceptable options, although the first one would be a kinder gesture. ( The example is intentionally super simple to explain my point, I didn’t mean to compare opportunities and purses (saying this as a precautious measure cause people will yell at anything))
        Saying that I say yes, she has the right to play at, as physically she has that attribute – female biological sex. I don’t need to talk to the members of community for this specifically, as we are talking about not something they identify as, but rather something they were born with physically. You can identify as a 70 year old and I will respect that, but that won’t make you a a 70 year old physically if you’re 21. Internet warriors act as if transwomen (or men) are just women (men) both physically and mentally and it’s simply not true. Your gender doesn’t have to match your biological sex. It doesn’t make anyone better or worth than other people, relax

    • LP says:

      It seems we can’t agree on the definition of a trans person. I’d argue that differentiating between born sex and gender identity is literally anti-trans, based on discussions with trans people about how they define themselves. Slate wrote an interesting article this weekend arguing that it would be more accurate to cast a cis man in this part than a cis woman, which makes sense to me. If you know of any trans people arguing in favor of this casting I’d be interested to hear it. If you’re a cis person arguing that those born female aren’t really trans, or that those born female who identify as men aren’t really me , then we aren’t going to agree. Again, I’m sorry to be so combative but based on the information at hand I do believe this is a case of trans erasure and good allies mud tcall it out as such.

      • Cle says:

        @LP, interesting point “I’d argue that differentiating between born sex and gender identity is literally anti-trans, based on discussions with trans people about how they define themselves.”, I never thought about it that way.
        But let me tell you this, I approach this as a medical student (very practically) and to me it’s clear as day that trans women are not women physically (same with men), so? It doesn’t make them better or worse. Why pretend it’s true when it’s not? Biological sex is NOT something you identify as, it was assigned to you by Nature/God/evolution/Buddha (insert whatever you believe in)
        Again, I don’t see it as insulting. Who said that being a woman is better than a man and vice versa? I respect and trust their self identification (gender) and will treat them accordingly (refer to as “he”, etc.) but also I see an undeniable physical features (sex). Both can exist at the same time. Who said your sex and gender should match? Hitler?

    • LP says:

      Uh, it’s factual and practical to refer to a trans man as a man, whether he’s had surgery or not. Anything else is insulting. I’m done engaging you on this. Try talking to a real trans person.

      • Cle says:

        @LP I specifically mentioned I refer to transmen and transwomen as anyone should, please, reread my message. I also never said transman is not a man.
        I said his bioligical sex is not. And it’s a tangible fact and not insulting.
        You are literally arguing with thinks I never said.
        We both agree transpeople should be treated with the same amount of respect as any other people. But we disagree in terms of fooling ourselves. I’m not denying anyone’s right to identify as they please, I just don’t pretend I don’t distinguish sex and gender. How having a body with specific features is insulting?

    • trh says:

      medical students are insufferable

    • Juu says:

      I get what you mean, Cle. But no, Tex Gill didn’t look like a woman or had any feminine traits. ( In fact, if they insist upon giving the role to a cis actor it should be given to a man. It’s like casting ScarJo to play Churchill.

  22. Darla says:

    One of the biggest assholes in Hollywood, and imagine how big of an ahole you have to be to wear that title.

  23. arlene says:

    Considering Tex Gill, never had treatment for her transition (can’t find any info saying otherwise), I get why they may not use an actor who identifies as such, but Scarlett Johannsen? Has anyone seen a picture of Tex? Scarlett can barely act as a white woman, let alone a trans man?? That is just a sick joke. Another bomb for her future.

    • LP says:

      I am sorry to be so combative today but what on earth is this argument? Please ask a trans person if surgery is a prerequisite for gender identity- they’ll tell you no! And misgendering Tex gill? Please don’t! He wanted to be known as a man!

  24. Lucy2 says:

    I used to give her a pass for some stuff, but lately she’s just crossed too many lines. You would think after the ghost in the shell debacle, she would’ve learned something, but clearly not.

  25. Wood Dragon says:

    Instead of going for the role herself, she could have stuck with the equally prestigious job as producer – would look good for her in the indie circuit and at awards time – and boost someone else’s career by giving them the part? Win/win, right? Ah well…

  26. LP says:

    I’m so disappointed that Taika Waititi cast her in his next movie- I was still looking forward to it even after her gross racist/ rape apologist fumbles of the last couple years, but now? Watching her play a sympathetic anti-Nazi German is REALLY gonna bug 😡

  27. Lisa says:

    Can’t stand her. God.

  28. Kiki says:

    Hollywood has been so far behind. The came up with new Hollywood in the middle to late 60′s, when Europe Film Industry was so far ahed of them.

    I don’t know about how far they have come with LGBT community but a few more countries are taking notice. Which brings me to why is Hollywood and their ‘liberal’ agenda are not interesed in the transgender casting of actor’s?

    As for Scarjo… She is on my list of people I don’t like.

  29. Onemoretime says:

    For those who are using the excuse of “they need a big name or someone famous” just baffles me. How do you think famous people get famous? They are given a chance. By your reasoning no one should be famous or do you think they are born famous? In this day and age we are not satisfied with the old norms. Name one movie in the last 5 years that has made money after there was back lash regarding casting? After the Stonewall flop in 2015 the lesson should have been learned.
    I’m my opinion she is a bland actress at best.

  30. Jenns says:

    So, how many wrongs make a right? Or does it depend on the wealth, fame, and privilege of the person?

  31. tealily says:

    Following Ghost in the Shell, WHY would she even come anywhere near this? The second there was any whiff of backlash, you’d think she’d back away! What a fool.

    • jwoolman says:

      The Ghost in the Shell situation was actually quite different. The character wasn’t actually tied to being Japanese (her artificial body was ambiguous to me in the anime) and Japanese fans didn’t seem bothered by the casting. I would worry more about the ability to portray other aspects of the character, she was no delicate flower and didn’t fit gender stereotypes. She wasn’t even always a she, there were hints that she had once chosen a male body although she was definitely female as a child.

      This casting seems weird because the actress doesn’t seem anywhere near to being up to the role. She doesn’t even physically resemble the character at all and that’s a problem with someone of recent enough memory. A man (trans or not) really should have been cast in this role, it would have been much easier to find a physical and psychological match. I would be afraid that she is going to come across as a stereotypical woman at a costume party rather than as the gangster Tex Gill really was.

      So I wonder who exactly she thinks Tex Gill was and why she thinks she is capable of convincingly playing him.

  32. Marty says:

    This is what malicious ignorance gets you. When you are comfortable in your ignorance as long as it benefits you AKA ScarJo’s life motto.

  33. Jamie says:

    No wonder SNL cast her as Ivanka Trump.

    Scarlett is just as arrogant and entitled.

  34. Savvy says:

    I’ll just leave here the link and a small paragraph from an interview with Daniela Vega, a transgender actor who played the lead in the movie A Fantastic Woman, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

    “Lelio’s film has been widely acclaimed not just as a superb work, but also as a rare screen depiction of a trans heroine that casts a trans woman in the lead. We’re used to seeing cisgender actors, male and female, winning plaudits for playing trans roles, whether it’s with the subtlety of Felicity Huffman in Transamerica or the coy awkwardness of Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl. But we’re also witnessing a period in which trans roles demand trans casting, as in Sean Baker’s Tangerine or in Orange Is the New Black, which got actor Laverne Cox on the cover of Time magazine. There are also precursors such as Spain’s Antonia San Juan, with her immortal onstage monologue in Almodóvar’s All About My Mother: “Soy muy auténtica” (“I’m the real deal”).”

  35. LP says:

    Since I’m seeing several disheartening posts in this topic, here’s a good article on trans actors response to this casting:

  36. Mina says:

    That really was a horrible answer to give and I think ScarJo is really desperate for at least an Oscar nomination (you won’t get that from working with Rupert Sanders, girl).

    On the other hand, I don’t know if I like the mentality that only transgender actors should play transgender characters, because then that also limits them to play non transgender roles. I do agree that projects like this would be perfect to give more visibility to transgender artists, like A Fantastic Woman did for Daniela Vega (although she’s not a very good actress), but I think the ideal goal would be that gender, race or sexual orientation of an actor shouldn’t determine what characters they can play.

    That being said, this project would never be greenlit without a big Hollywood Star, so I do get why ScarJo was offered the role (and because no one else would want to work with that director).

  37. Patty says:

    I wish they would have gone with a better actress or actor. That’s all I have. I’m not fully on board with only trans actors can play trans characters because inevitably the reverse will happen: trans actors will be told they can’t play non trans characters. What if LaVerne Cox hadn’t been cast in OITNB because she’s a trans woman playing a non trans woman.

    • Mia LeTendre says:

      Cox’s character is trans.

    • LP says:

      POC regularly play roles not originally written for any particular race/ethnicity, and that’s fine. It hasn’t amused a balckface resurgence or anything. Same principle here.

      • Mina says:

        Race is different though. Unless the character is written to be of an specific race because of context (say, a movie about slavery couldn’t have a white actor playing a black slave or a black actor playing a white slaver), race shouldn’t matter in a character. But if you are saying that transgender roles can only be played for transgender, that also limits them as actors to play non transgender roles. Same as someone who once said that gay characters should only be played by gay actors. Does that mean that gays can’t play non gay roles? Shouldn’t be like that.

        The problem is, we’re still not at the stage in which transgender actors have the same opportunities as cis actors, so until then, it does seem unfair that even these roles are given to cis actors. But first we need Hollywood to open the road for more transgender actors in the industry, because at this moment there’s no one with a star power comparable to Scarlett Johansson.

  38. Ankhel says:

    It gives me a mean, warm little glow inside when I think about how hopeless she’s going to be in this role. She’s naturally feminine, has doll like features and a tiny, curvy body. They’ll try with makeup, and every wardrobe trick in the book, and it will still be tragicomedy. Mwahahaha!

  39. Jordan says:

    This stinks of wanting that Oscar.

  40. Dana m says:

    Terrible response from her. She comes across as such an a-hole. She could have been humble and said something like: “ I am honored to have been chosen to play this role .I take this role seriously and wholeheartedly support the LGBT community.” But no. Her true colors sure do shine!

  41. Charlotte says:

    Um, excuse me, but as much as I don’t care for SJ, she didn’t cast herself in the role. How about some vitriol for the casting directors, producers and director who chose her.

    • LP says:

      1. She’s a producer and literally cast herself in the role 2. She’s a millionaire who could afford to not take this part 3. No one forced her to give this terrible awful no good very bad response 4. We can and should have vitriol for everyone involved (if vitriol is defined here as “not putting up with tran erasure”)

  42. paddingtonjr says:

    I have never understood her appeal: she always seems to talk in a flat monotone and certainly there are more attractive actresses. If she’s serious about being a producer, a smart move would have been to cast a talented, if unknown, transgender actor who would have created “buzz” (as the performers in “Pose” and Laverne Cox in “OINTB” have) while taking a significant, yet secondary role. The story would have been about the film itself and how it is such a big step for transgender actors and how brave ScarJo was to put aside any vanity and “take a risk” with a transgender unknown. THAT would have given her Oscar buzz, not ScarJo is once again tone-deaf and making stupid decisions. Oh, and Scarlett, the actors you mentioned? Transamerica (Felicity Huffman) was released in 2005; Dallas Buyers Club (Jared Leto) in 2013; and Transparent (Jeffrey Tambor, who should not be your go-to for a positive reference in ANY situation) in 2014. Society and its views towards gender identity and inclusion have changed a lot since then.

  43. Oopygoopy says:

    Just came here to say ScarJo is a sanctimonious fart sniffer! Most beautiful woman my dick 😂

  44. Neelyo says:

    ‘As one ages they get the hairstyle they deserve’

    It’s not a real saying, but that’s all that comes to mind when I think of her awful point of view and how terrible that hair is in the header pic.

  45. Miss M says:

    I understand the outrage. But I dont recall people reacting to Redmayne’s character in the Danish girl…

    • Juu says:

      He portrayed the character since before the transitioning. And in the 1920′s Lili didn’t have the same means to transition like the transwomen from today, so she still bore some resemblance to her previous male identity.

  46. RandomChatter says:

    You guys all need to get a friggin’ life. It’s HOLLYWOOD, people play roles. Roles that have nothing to do with their “real” life. Producers and directors hire people that they think can do the part AND draw viewers. The sanctimony in the comments here are really stupid.

    • jwoolman says:

      This particular actress does not seem to have a broad range. A lot of people are also questioning her ability to do the role because of that. If she was a magnificent actor who could do anything well, some of us wouldn’t be wondering about it so much.

      This particular role makes so much more sense played by someone who is culturally already male (born or trans). It would be so much easier to find a good match of actor to character at baseline and then build up the real character from there. It seems like way too much of a stretch for her, and it is unlikely that she will wear all the prosthetics and makeup needed to make her look even a little like the real guy. So I’m wondering if they are just going to greatly soften the character to match the limited abilities of the actor, rewriting history in the process. In which case – why bother basing it on a real historical figure in the first place? Have they no imagination?

  47. Aubrey says:

    She’s right.

  48. It’s an amazing…

  49. Vox says:

    I get the subject matter but god, the title is so sleazy. As if trans people don’t already get a bad enough rap. There are plenty of talented trans actors out there who are young and looking for a chance. Just… learn from the backlash, Hollywood. Please. For once?

    As for Scarlett, lost any respect I had the moment she defended Woody. Was sad to have to do the same with Cate Blanchett and several others.

  50. Dougie says:

    I always thought she sucked as Black Widow; she was the wrong casting choice, and looks totally unconvincing as a Russian spy; in the comics, Natasha Romanoff is statuesque and looks appropriately kickass, but in the movies, she’s short and stumpy with an nonexistent accent. The fact that they keep changing her hairstyle in every single Marvel movie she’s in just proves that they don’t know what to do with her character.

  51. em says:

    I refuse to be offended by this, she is an actress and it’s an acting job. If Meryl Streep or Judy Dench were cast in a transgender role there wouln’t be a peep.

    • Heather says:

      Yes, I have to agree with you. In the end, it’s about finding a marketable actress to front a film. It’s often very difficult to find financing for movies with unknown actors, however talented.

  52. Heather says:

    OK, I have to ask, other issues aside, what is the problem with her support of Marchesa? Why conflate the Harvey Weinberg assaults with Georgina Chapman’s company? What is Georgina guilty of? Should Weinberg’s -ex wife be a victim of our judgement?

    • Mina says:

      Because people need to blame women for what men do, don’t you know that? They seem to think that since Georgina was married to him, she knew what he was doing and didn’t care as long as she got his support for her brand. She couldn’t have had the talent or network to find success by herself!

  53. yiza says:

    I’m late to this party, but WHY. I wouldn’t go see this movie even if I wanted to because of the deliberate discriminatory casting. Terrible PR and i hope it flops.

  54. Marianne says:

    I think in a perfect world it wouldnt matter if she was cast. Because in a perfect world trans actors wouldnt struggle to make a name for themselves. They would already have succesful careers and would just be cast in movies where their identity wasn’t a big deal. But alas that isnt the case.

  55. MarineTheMachine says:

    Anyone remember her pitty excuse of a home-made soda water rep deal in occupied territories of the Middle East? She had the worst answers to criticisms then and still does now. A mix of pure narcissism, greed and heavy thirst drive this quite mediocre actress. And don’t go there ; Felicity Hoffman in Transamerica was centuries ago in terms of trans representation and did quite a good job considering the era. But ya, with her raspy voice, I bet some white webdudes will be all like *great casting* for no other reason than natural born features, what they consider “sex appeal” and the over-revisited 70′s theme.

  56. pola says:

    I like her :)