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Scarlett Johansson Apologizes for Accepting Transgender Role But Defends Woody Allen

Gettyimages | Amy Sussman
By Natalie Hunter

Scarlett Johansson has been accused of problematic actions in the past. One of the most prominent was accepting a transgender role.

She was cast as Dante "Text" Gill in film based on the real story of the transgender man called 'Rub and Tug.' IMDb describes the film, "Based on the true story of Tex Gill, a trans man who becomes the crime kingpin of 1970s Pittsburgh through his empire of illicit massage parlors." The film was put in limbo after her decision to quit.

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Johansson initially stood by her decision to accept the role.

“Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment," she said in a public statement that was issued by Bustle.

She then backtracked while talking to Out Magazine in July of 2018. "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," Johansson told Out magazine.

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According to NBC News, Scarlett Johansson reflected on the issue during an interview with Vanity Fair and had more to say on the issue.

“In hindsight, I mishandled that situation. I was not sensitive, my initial reaction to it," she said. "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," she continued.

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"So I learned a lot through that process. I misjudged that... 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.”

Scarlett Johansson was able to redeem her career. Since the incident, she has gone on to play Black Widow in the Marvel Universe, Rosie in Jojo Rabbit and Nicole in her most recent movie 'Marriage Story.' She has received acclaim for her work in the drama.

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However, she still hasn't left some problematic tendencies behind. She continues to defend alleged sex offender Woody Allen and says she would work with him on another project.

“I see Woody whenever I can, and I have had a lot of conversations with him about it,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I have been very direct with him, and he’s very direct with me. He maintains his innocence, and I believe him.”

Her statements may come into play when it comes to this year's Oscars season.

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