Scarlett Johansson has been the subject of many jokes in the last few years due to controversial comments she made relating to her casting in the film Rub & Tug, in which she was set to play a transgender man named Dante "Tex" Gill. Now, Johansson is opening up about the entire saga for Vanity Fair's Awards Extra cover story.
"In hindsight, I mishandled that situation. I was not sensitive, my initial reaction to it," the actress told Vanity Fair. "I wasn't totally aware of how the trans community felt about those three actors playing—and how they felt in general about cis actors playing—transgender people. I wasn't aware of that conversation—I was uneducated."
Previously, Johansson had told detractors that "they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment," actors which have all portrayed transgender characters on the big screen before. She ultimately stepped down from the role. Johansson also received backlash about her casting in the 2017 movie Ghost in the Shell, as the character she portrayed was originally Japanese.
The 35-year-old actress said she "learned a lot" during the process of learning about why she received the backlash. "I misjudged that," she told VF. "It was a hard time. It was like a whirlwind. I felt terribly about it. To feel like you're kind of tone-deaf to something is not a good feeling."
The actress has also made headlines in the past for defending disgraced filmmaker Woody Allen. She danced around their relationship in the interview at first. "Even though there's moments where I feel maybe more vulnerable because I've spoken my own opinion about something, my own truth and experience about it—and I know that it might be picked apart in some way, people might have a visceral reaction to it—I think it's dangerous to temper how you represent yourself, because you're afraid of that kind of response."
She added, "that, to me, doesn't seem very progressive at all. That seems scary."
When she was asked about her relationship to the director specifically, she said, "I don't know—I feel the way I feel about it. It's my experience. I don't know any more than any other person knows. I only have a close proximity with Woody. He's a friend of mine. But I have no other insight other than my relationship with him."