Actor Scarlett Johansson has opened up about the controversy surrounding her decision to play a transgender in the film Rub and Tug. The 34-year-old actor was recently slammed for accepting a role to play a transgender man in the upcoming film Rub and Tug.
After facing backlash for the casting decision and pressure from social media about not having a transgender actor play the character, Johansson decided to exit from the film. The Avengers: Endgame actor addressed what she called "political correctness" in the casting process in an interview with As If magazine.
"You know, as an actor, I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirement of my job," she said. She also noted that acting is an art and it should be free of "restrictions."
"I feel like it's a trend in my business and it needs to happen for various social reasons, yet there are times it does get uncomfortable when it affects the art because I feel art should be free of restrictions," Johansson added. "I think society would be more connected if we just allowed others to have their own feelings and not expect everyone to feel the way we do," she continued.
Johansson revealed that during the making of a film, so many changes usually take place that the end result is different from the original version she signed up for. The final cut is "usually different from the movie I thought I was making. It's very rare that it's what I thought I was making. Sometimes it's devastating, and sometimes it's a pleasant surprise."
In July 2018, Johansson first addressed her casting as a transgender man in a statement to Out magazine. "I understand why many feel Dante 'Tex' Gill should be portrayed by a transgender person," she said. "I've learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive. I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film," she added.
Johansson also received flak for her role in the 2017 movie Ghost in a Shell, which was an adaptation of a Japanese manga. She played the lead character, who was originally Asian in the source material, and was accused of whitewashing.