Trans actors post video mocking Scarlett Johansson in Rub & Tug casting row
Protests continue against Johansson’s role as massage parlour owner Dante ‘Tex’ Gill, who identified as a man
A group of trans male actors have appeared in a video mocking Scarlett Johansson and her casting in Rub & Tug, a biopic of notorious massage parlour owner Dante “Tex” Gill.
Gill – born Lois Jean Gill – died in 2003 and was widely reported at the time to have identified as male. An obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggested that the underworld figure “may even have undergone the initial stages of a sex change”.
Trans actors have been vocal in their criticism of Johannson for accepting the role, and the video – produced by digital magazine Into – features a series of trans men “auditioning” for previous Johansson roles, including Ghost World, Her, and The Avengers. The video finishes with one of the actors – Scott Taylor Schofield – being offered a role but turning it down on the grounds that “cis women are actually really marginalised in Hollywood”, while adding: “I know that there are people who have lived this experience and would bring a lot of authenticity to it, and I feel a little weird taking that from them.”
Johansson has made no public comment on the controversy, although Bustle reported that a representative for the actor said, regarding critics of the casting: “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”