Scarlett Johansson's managed to get herself caught up in not one, but two casting controversies in her career.
The first surrounded 'Ghost In The Shell', where she played a whitewashed version of a character from a popular Japanese media franchise. While the movie did feature an explanation as to why she had Caucasian features when the character was historically Asian, the casting was enough to reduce sentiment for the movie.
The more recent controversy, however, stemmed from a role that would have seen Johansson play a real-life trans man. 'Rub and Tug' would have seen Johansson play Dante 'Tex' Gill, a transgender man who ran massage parlours in Pittsburgh and eventually went to prison.
Yet just a week after the role was announced, Johansson exited the role and issued a contrite statement, saying that she had learned from the experience and the trans community.
Previously, Johansson had been defiant on taking the role. When asked for comment for by outlets at the time, Johansson's reps pointed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman - all cisgender actors who played trans roles. "Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment," her statement read.
After retracting that statement and apologising, the whole thing went quiet - until a recent interview with As If Magazine sparked it all off again.
Without specifically mentioning 'Rub and Tug', Johansson said that "as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job."
Johansson went on, adding that she "(feels) 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."
Needless to say, Johansson's comments haven't been taken well by the transgender community.
Having deja vu rn https://t.co/NAuADJpRRd
— Trace Lysette (@tracelysette) July 14, 2019
Scarlett Johansson is a cisgender white woman with a powerful platform and no storage of work opportunities. Trans people should play trans people. Period. It is incredibly disappointing that she has learned nothing and clearly does not care about the experiences of trans people. https://t.co/yWMeCZbUMS
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) July 13, 2019
So far, Johansson hasn't responded to the reaction / backlash from her comments.