- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2018

Celebrity Scarlett Johansson will no longer play a transgender man in the upcoming movie “Rub & Tug” due to cultural backlash.

Marvel’s “Black Widow” was bitten by the LGBT community on July 2 after it was announced that she would play Dante Tex Gill for her next project. The sustained anger over her casting — the transgender man owned a massage parlor in the ‘70s and ‘80s — prompted her professional exit on Friday.

The Hollywood reporter released the actress’ statement on the fallout.

“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,” Ms. Johansson wrote. “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.”

Ms. Johansson did not specifically address who might be her replacement, although she did note a desire to see more representation by transgender actors.

“I believe that all artists should be considered equally and fairly. My production company, These Pictures, actively pursues projects that both entertain and push boundaries,” she continued.

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