Scarlett Johansson announced on Friday that she'll no longer portray a transgender man, Dante "Tex" Gill, in the biopic about his life called Rub & Tug. The move came after Johansson got a huge amount of backlash for taking the role and not allowing a transgender actor to portray Gill—especially since transgender actors already have a tough time finding roles.
"While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film. I believe that all artists should be considered equally and fairly," read her statement to Out Magazine.
Now transgender artists are commending Johansson for making a step in the right direction for the LGBTQ+ community.
"Scarlett deciding to pull out was a good example of listening to the community and that was the right thing to do," said Transparent producer and director, Rhys Ernst, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Transparent actress, Alexandra Grey, also spoke about about Johansson's decision: "We're broken. It hurts us sometimes when we see cis actors portraying our stories and winning Oscars and winning Emmys," she said.
Sense8 actress Jamie Clayton also came out to support Johansson's move. "Cheers to learning & growing! I hope you’re still producing the film Scarlett. What an incredible opportunity to put your words into action even further! YAS! Let’s get lunch and talk! #ScarlettJohansson," read her tweet.
But as we wait to hear who will take on Gill's role, FX's Pose, which follows the lives of transgender people in the ballroom scene and features trans artists, was renewed for a second season.