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Scarlett Johansson Praised by GLAAD, Transgender Actors for Exiting ‘Rub and Tug’

Her casting in — and initial statement about — the project cited fierce backlash.

Scarlett Johansson'Rough Night' film premiere, Arrivals, New York, USA - 12 Jun 2017

Scarlett Johansson

Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock

Scarlett Johansson’s decision to exit “Rub and Tug” has been met with praise from both GLAAD and Hollywood’s transgender community. Her casting as Dante “Tex” Gill in the film had ben met with fierce backlash, as Gill was likely transgender and many were angered that yet another trans role had gone to a cisgender actor; the initial response from Johansson’s representative — “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment” — only exacerbated the situation.

Now that she’s exited the project and apologized for her “insensitive” comment, however, Johansson appears to have smoothed things over.

Sarah Kate Ellis of GLAAD released the following statement:

“Scarlett Johansson’s announcement, together with the transgender voices who spoke out about this film, are game changers for the future of transgender images in Hollywood. Hollywood changed how Americans understand gay and lesbian lives, and TV is starting to do the same for transgender people with authentic transgender portrayals being major hits with critics and audiences. The film industry has a real opportunity to do the same.”

A number of transgender actors responded positively as well:


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