Scarlett Johansson announced Friday that she is dropping out of a movie in which she is cast as a transgender man, calling her initial response to criticism about getting the part "insensitive."
Johansson released a statement to Out.com about her decision to withdraw fromRub and Tug, in which she was slated to portray Dante "Tex" Gill. Gill was born female but assumed a male identity while operating a massage parlor and prostitution business in Pittsburgh in the 1970s and 1980s, according to the the Hollywood Reporter. Critics like trans actors Trace Lysette and Jamie Clayton said it was inappropriate for her to take the part because she is cisgender, someone who identifies with their birth sex.
"In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project. Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I've learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive," Johansson said.