Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson recently took on the role of prostitution ring leader Dante “Tex” Gill. Dante was originally born Lois Jean Gill and subsequently referred to themselves as Mr. Gill towards the end of their life. The story of Gill’s life will become the inspiration for the upcoming film Rub & Tug.
Sounds like an interesting movie to me. A transsexual gangster.
Unfortunately, with everything related to non-traditional norms and entertainment, the announcement of Johansson taking the role was met with controversy. A number of people put Scarlett Johansson on blast for accepting the role they believe is better fit for a transgender actor.
Here are a few tweets to give you an idea of how some people reacted to the casting decision. Please note, these are the nicest ones I could find that wasn’t laced with profanity or porn.
A trans man should have been cast instead of Scarlett Johansson and it doesn’t surprise she took the role 😒😒 https://t.co/vpD80bRwNK
— Jamal (@ItsJam_Ok) July 3, 2018
Scarlett Johansson is the type of white woman that complains about injustice only to turn around and underhand POC and trans ppl RATHER than do anything to stand up to rich white men…. 😴 https://t.co/3qymUqdoeL
— normie adjacent (@kish_lal) July 3, 2018
The weirdest part to me is that the director was heavily criticised for white washing when it came to casting Scarlett Johansson as Motoko.
Not only does he make a similar mistake here but it’s with the same actor. How do you blatantly make the same mistake twice?
— Crow (@GregorArnott) July 3, 2018
The only role that makes sense for Scarlett Johansson to play at this point is Rachel Dolezal
— Orli Matlow (@HireMeImFunny) July 4, 2018
scarlett johansson selecting her next acting role pic.twitter.com/wT0hY3seYs
— COL•IN (@colinshram) July 4, 2018
Scarlett Johansson’s next roles:
• Selena Quintanilla Perez
• black drag queen throwing the first brick at stonewall
• Kim Jong-Un
• all the roles in black panther 2
• mysterious Japanese child on scene 3
• Laverne Cox
— luisa 🇧🇷🇨🇺 (@666bitchcraft) July 4, 2018
Johansson responded through a representative in a simple statement Bustle:
“Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
The response is in reference to Jared Let and Felicity Huffman receiving Oscar nominations for their roles in Dallas Buyers Club and Transamerica respectfully. Jeffery Tambor won an Emmy for his portrayal of a trans character in the television show Transparent.
The response infuriated those who were already upset with the casting choice and this time the media decided to target her. Judy Dry at Business Insider claimed Johansson “passed the buck” when it came to her accountability for the role.
Jennifer Finney Boylan wrote in the New York Times that the casting was racist when she compared it to Mickey Rooney’s role as Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast as Tiffany’s. Boylan claims Rooney and Hollywood committed “yellowface.” And Scarlett Johansson is committing “transface.”
Transgender actor Trace Lysette showed her jealously when she whined about the casting choice and Johansson’s defense in accepting the role.
And not only do you play us and steal our narrative and our opportunity but you pat yourselves on the back with trophies and accolades for mimicking what we have lived… so twisted. I’m so done…
— Trace Lysette (@tracelysette) July 4, 2018
Transgender actor Jamie Clayton also had quite a bit to say about Johansson’s casting in the role.
Actors who are trans never even get to audition FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN ROLES OF TRANS CHARACTERS. THATS THE REAL ISSUE. WE CANT EVEN GET IN THE ROOM. Cast actors WHO ARE TRANS as NON TRANS CHARACTERS. I DARE YOU #RupertSanders @NewRegency #ScarlettJohansson https://t.co/RkrW8MeGcG
— Jamie Clayton (@MsJamieClayton) July 4, 2018
This isn’t the first time Scarlett Johansson has faced heated criticism for taking on a specific role. Just last year she faced quite a bit of hate when she took the lead role in the live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. Just like then, she faced down the criticism and continued on with the role.
Many cried foul when she took on the role of Major believing she was whitewashing the character despite the source material not giving Major a clear ethnicity and the fact her body was artificial. Nevertheless, this didn’t stop people from bashing Johansson for taking the role.
In a twist of fate, Japanese people though the bashing of Scarlett Johansson was utterly ridiculous.
The idea that actors are supposed to act in roles that they don’t normally live shouldn’t be shocking to anyone. Unless your political agenda precludes such ideas of course. Shakespeare plays routinely had young boys playing women’s roles.
But that doesn’t really matter to these activists. Their goals have been clearly stated. They want to control the language, the narrative, and destroy what they don’t like they. They know if they control the language, they can shame people to act the way they prefer.
This is just the latest example of the loony left looking to exert control over the industry.
Johansson’s representative’s comments hit the nail on the head. An actor is supposed to “act.” The idea that someone is getting heat and hate for taking on a role is mind-boggling. At the same time, you cannot bow to the rabid activist crowds. The best thing that she can do is take on the role, kick ass playing the person, and prove to them what the point of acting is.
Should Johansson stand firm? Or should she bow out of the production?