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- Scarlett Johansson says she "mishandled" the backlash that she faced in 2018 after accepting a role as a transgender man named Dante "Tex" Gill in the biopic "Rub & Tug."
- At the time, the "Avengers: Endgame" star said that people should direct their criticism to the representatives of cisgender actors like Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman, who have all played transgender characters.
- She went on to apologize for her comment and drop out of the movie.
- Johansson told Vanity Fair that she "was not sensitive."
- "I learned a lot through that process," she added. "I misjudged that…. It was a hard time. It was like a whirlwind. I felt terribly about it. To feel like you're kind of tone-deaf to something is not a good feeling."
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Scarlett Johansson says she incorrectly reacted to the backlash surrounding her casting as a transgender character in the movie "Rub & Tug."
In July 2018, Deadline reported that Johansson would be starring as Dante "Tex" Gill, a transgender man and Pittsburgh crime kingpin in the 1970s, in the biopic.
In response to the criticism regarding a cisgender actor portraying a transgender character, Johansson said to Bustle via her representative: "Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment."
The "Avengers: Endgame" star was referring to cisgender actors who have played transgender roles on "Transparent," and in "Dallas Buyers Club," and "Transamerica," respectively.
Following additional waves of backlash, Johansson dropped the role and told Out magazine in a statement: "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."
Johansson went on to say that she "learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive."
Speaking to Vanity Fair, Johansson admitted that she "wasn't totally aware of how the trans community felt about those three actors playing — and how they felt in general about cis actors playing — transgender people."
"I wasn't aware of that conversation — I was uneducated," she added. "So I learned a lot through that process. I misjudged that…. It was a hard time. It was like a whirlwind. I felt terribly about it. To feel like you're kind of tone-deaf to something is not a good feeling."
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