Scarlett Johansson hits back at controversy over new transgender role

Ben Arnold

Scarlett Johansson has tried to fend off critics over her new role, playing a transgender character in a new biopic.

It was announced yesterday that the 33-year-old is to take on the role of Dante ‘Tex’ Gill in the movie Rub & Tug, who ran several mob-connected massage parlours in 1970s Pittsburgh, to be directed by Rupert Sanders.

Gill, born Lois Jean Gill, was a woman who lived as a man, wore men’s clothing, and was in a long-term relationship with a woman, Cynthia Bruno.

Scarlett Johansson (Credit: Getty)

The announcement was soon followed with criticism that the role should really be played by a transgender man, rather than Johansson.

However in a statement the mum-of-one shot back at her critics, saying: “Tell them they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”

All three actors have played transgender characters, Tambor in Transparent, Leto in Dallas Buyers Club and Huffman in Transamerica.

But despite her remarks, she is still being slated for the decision to take on the part.

It perhaps does not help that she has previously been criticised for taking on the lead role in Sanders’ last movie Ghost In The Shell.

The production was accused of white-washing in casting caucasian actors in roles that were Japanese in the Manga on which it was based.

Hence this withering remark…

Johansson has not yet commented on the continuing backlash ushered in by her statement.

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