In a statement to Out.com, Johansson said, “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. 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, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film.”
Her use of the term “respectfully” is kind of ironic. After catching heat for taking a role that many felt should have gone to a transgender actor, ScarJo issued a salty statement to Bustle saying, detractors “can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
Welp, it seems that didn’t go over too well. Now, Scarlett Johansson is doing a classic Hollywood back peddle and not only bowing out of the film but also offering a mea culpa about her cavalier ‘tude toward the transgender community.
“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,” she said in her statement. “I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues.”
The actress even went a step further and used her statement as an opportunity to drop some LGBTQ factoids to hopefully educate others, as well as herself, on the state of the community’s representation in Hollywood.
“According to GLAAD, LGBTQ+ characters dropped 40% in 2017 from the previous year, with no representation of trans characters in any major studio release,” Johansson said.
She also vowed to put her money where her mouth is and pursue diverse projects within her production company.
“I believe that all artists should be considered equally and fairly. My production company, These Pictures, actively pursues projects that both entertain and push boundaries. We look forward to working with every community to bring these most poignant and important stories to audiences worldwide.”