Scarlett Johansson pulls out of transgender movie after she faced ethical backlash

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Associated Press

Scarlett Johansson has pulled out of the film "Rub & Tug" after her plans to portray a transgender man prompted a backlash.

FILE - In this April 23, 2018 file photo, Scarlett Johansson arrives at the world premiere of "Avengers: Infinity War" in Los Angeles. Johansson’s plans to portray a transgender man has sparked a backlash from many who object to cisgender actors playing trans roles. Earlier this week, Johansson was announced to star in the film “Rub & Tug,” about prostitution ring leader Dante “Tex” Gill,” who was born Lois Jean Gill but identified as a man. Since then, many transgender actors and advocates have criticized the production for Johansson’s casting. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Scarlett Johansson.

Source: Associated Press

In a statement to Out.com on Friday (overnight NZT), Johansson says she's withdrawing from the project "in light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting".

Last week, Johansson said she would star as prostitution ring leader Dante "Tex" Gill, who was born Lois Jean Gill but identified as a man.

When transgender actors and advocates questioned the casting, Johansson initially responded with a statement that criticism "can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman's reps." All are actors who won acclaim for playing transgender characters.

Johansson previously came under fire for playing an originally Asian character in the 2017 film "Ghost in the Shell."

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