Scarlett Johansson came under fire when she was cast as Major Kusanagi in the Ghost in the Shell reboot, but now haters are at it again, calling her out for being cast as a trans man in a film called Rub & Tug.
The movie is being directed by Rupert Sanders, who was the same guy at the helm of the Ghost in the Shell reboot. The story follows real-life kingpin Dante “Tex” Gill (originally Lois Jean Gill), who, with a chain of massage parlors, ran a prostitution ring, and peddled steroids for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s also worth noting that Gill had support from the LGBT community to run his empire.
Numerous fans online have been bashing Johansson for taking on the role, claiming that it should be given to an actual trans man.
Johansson (and Sanders), on the other hand, is sticking to her guns and calling out the haters for being hypocrites. When asked to comment on all the backlash, Johansson released a statement to Bustle saying:
“Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
If those names don’t mean anything to you, those are cisgender actors who have all played trans people onscreen. Jeffrey Tambor was a trans woman in Transparent, Felicity Huffman was the same in Transamerica, and Jared Leto took on the role for Dallas Buyers Club.
What I don’t understand is, Johansson is playing the role of a character who starts out as a woman. I think it would be far more complicated to have an actual trans man in the role, seeing that they have to revert him back to his female appearance, then back again to male.
I think there’s just general misunderstanding on who she is actually playing. I admit, it would be weird to have Johansson play a character who is a man and transitions into becoming Scarlett Johansson. Maybe that’s what some people think the situation is.
A release date has yet to be announced for Rub & Tug.