Scarlett Johansson exits transgender film following backlash
After facing backlash after being cast in the role of Dante “Tex” Gill, a transgender man, and controversial follow-up comments made by the actress’ rep in response to the backlash, Scarlett Johansson (Avengers: Infinity War) has confirmed to Out.com that she has dropped out of the film Rub & Tug.
“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. Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive. I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues.”
Rub & Tug is based on the life of 1970’s Pittsburgh crime kingpin Jean Marie Gill, who was born female and then assumed the identity of a man, Dante “Tex” Gill, in order to run a massage parlor and prostitution business. Gill also ran an anabolic steroids ring for NFL team the Pittsburgh Steelers and used connections in the gay community to circumvent the mob. The film will also focus on Gill’s fiery romance with girlfriend Cynthia.
Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) was set to direct from a screenplay by Gary Spinelli (American Made, Chaos Walking), with Johansson, Spinelli, Joel Silver, Tobey Maguire, Matthew Plouffe and Jonathan Lia originally producing. Silver Pictures president Hal Sadoff was set to executive produce Rub & Tug with Ethan Erwin, Sarah Meyer, Richard Weinberg, and Brendan Koerner.
(Photo Credit: Getty Image)