July 5, 2018 at 1:48 pm EDT | by Mariah Cooper
Scarlett Johansson blasted for being cast as transgender man

Scarlett Johansson (Photo by Dick Thomas Johnson via Wikimedia Commons)

Scarlett Johansson is facing backlash for choosing to play a transgender man in the upcoming crime drama “Rub & Tug.”

“Rub & Tug” is based on the life of Dante “Tex” Gill, a transgender man who operated a string of massage parlors that doubled as brothels in Pittsburgh.

Transgender actress Trace Lysette, who appeared in “Transparent,” fired back at the casting choice and brought up the double standards of transgender representation in Hollywood.

“Oh word?? So you can continue to play us but we can’t play y’all? Hollywood is so fucked… I wouldn’t be as upset if I was getting in the same rooms as Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett for cis roles, but we know that’s not the case. A mess,” Lysette tweeted.

In another tweet, she added, “And not only do you play us and steal our narrative and our opportunity but you pat yourselves on the back with trophies and accolades for mimicking what we have lived… so twisted. I’m so done…”

“Sense8” star Jamie Clayton also weighed in tweeting, “Actors who are trans never even get to audition FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN ROLES OF TRANS CHARACTERS. THATS THE REAL ISSUE. WE CANT EVEN GET IN THE ROOM. Cast actors WHO ARE TRANS as NON TRANS CHARACTERS. I DARE YOU.”

Transgender activist Jen Richards pitched to the Hollywood Reporter that they should have a roundtable discussion on the issue of transgender casting in Hollywood. “Orange is the New Black” star Laverne Cox agreed.

In response to the criticism, a representative for Johansson sent this statement to Bustle: “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”

Tambor played the lead role in “Transparent” earning two Emmys before he was fired from the series. Jared Leto won an Academy Award for his role as a transgender woman in the 2013 film “Dallas Buyers Club.”  Huffman portrayed transgender woman Bree Osbourne in the 2005 film “Transamerica.”

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