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Scarlett Johannson: I was ‘edited for click bait’

Scarlett Johansson stepped down from playing a trans man in Rub & Tug after backlash

Actress Scarlett Johannson has said comments she made about ‘authentic casting’ were ‘widely taken out of context’.

The actress faced a backlash this weekend. She said actors can play any person.

‘That is my job and the requirement of my job’ she said in an interview with As If magazine.

But, in a statement on Sunday to Vanity Fair, Johannson said the interview had ‘been edited for click bait and is widely taken out of context’.

What did Johannson say?

She claimed her comments to As If were in response to a question between art and political correctness.

‘I personally feel that, in an ideal world, any actor should be able to play anybody and Art, in all forms, should be immune to political correctness’ she said.

‘The question I was answering in my conversation with the contemporary artist, David Salle, was about the confrontation between political correctness and art’ she explained.

However, she went on to say: ‘I recognize that in reality, there is a wide spread discrepancy amongst my industry that favors Caucasian, cis gendered actors.

‘Not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to’ she said.

‘I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.’

Johansson and her controversial casting

The actor, known for playing Black Widow in the MCU movies, has made several faux pas in the past.

Last but not least, she took on a role of a transmasculine character in Rub & Tug in 2018. After defending her choice, she then decided to leave the project due to huge negative backlash.

Critics accused Johansson of whitewashing for playing the main character in 2017 movie Ghost In The Shell. The movie by Rupert Sanders was the live-action adaptation of a manga-anime series of the same name.

The Tony Award winner defined her character Motoko Kusanagi – a robot – as ‘identity-less’. Nonetheless, many pointed an Asian actor should have landed the role.

Johansson and Sanders teamed up again for Rub & Tag, an unreleased project about a trans man who ran massage parlors and prostitution rings in ’70s-era Pittsburgh.

The actor accepted to play the protagonist but subsequently pulled out.

‘Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment,’ she said last year.

The cisgender actors she mentioned have all played trans characters. Johansson has since apologized for her ‘insensitive’ comments.

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Author: Rik Glauert