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Scarlett Johansson quits transgender role after LGBT backlash

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According to LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD, none of the 109 movies released by Hollywood's seven biggest studios in 2017 included a transgender character.

Movies have business decisions to make if they want to make any money. Can actors no longer act? Are actors only allowed to play characters of the same skin colour or sex? If there's a shortage of transgender actors then this just ensures that few films will ever have transgender themes regardless of the cast. Thus studios will just avoid the problem if they will be pilloried over the production. I don't think they have helped their cause here. It would have been better to lament the lack of transgender actors but praise the movie production to go with a story of a trans character.

It was the second time Johansson, 33, found herself in the middle of a casting controversy after appearing in 2017's "Ghost in the Shell" in a role originally conceived as a Japanese character.

Apparently this wasn't a problem in Japan according to general interviews online (My man Yuta)

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Sorry that was "That Japanese Man Yuta" and the vid is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DhoBuU1Dtc

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sf2k - I agree and was thinking that without "star power" I imagine this type of movie is never made.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cant wait to see the film now - not!

haha. Well done dems!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

It would have been better to lament the lack of transgender actors but praise the movie production to go with a story of a trans character.

Exactly right - obviously Scarlett found the pressure from lobbyists too much and that's influenced her decision to abandon the role, but it's a shame she didn't stick to it and tell her critics where to go. I think she was a producer on this movie too - talk about being vilified for having your heart in the right place.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Stay in your lanes, people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Or it could be people are damn sick and tired of her.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Apparently this wasn't a problem in Japan according to general interviews online (My man Yuta)

The character is an anime character and interviewed people think that an actor with coloured eyes is more suitable thus a good choice.

More controversy gave Memoirs of a Geisha [2005] , a Hollywood production based on a popular but bit controversial novel by an American author.

As a connoisseur of movies from the Golden Age of J filmmaking I found the lead roles played by Chinese actresses not convincing except maybe for the one played by Gong Li. The cinematography however was great and the performance of the kid role by Suzuka Ohgo deserved credits.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hope her reaction to the ridiculous vilification she received also means she pulls out as producer and the film gets made by LGBTQ-whatever producers, director and actors. We'll see how much money that one makes.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Or it could be people are damn sick and tired of her.

Can't say I particularly like her but this kind of thing, having to quit a role because of these complaints, it really sucks. If she can do the job well, she should be able to.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Oh, I think we can safely say this particular movie project is kaput. Whoever is putting up the millions to make it will realize it now has no chance to make a profit.

Yes, it should be all lgbtq now - from the directer on down. How else otherwise can it get made with 'empathy and understanding'?

good luck!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This "pressure" is absolute nonsense. Isn't the definition of an actor, "someone who is pretending to be someone else"?

Shall we disqualify Daniel Radcliffe from playing Harry Potter because he's not an active member of the occult community? Should Tom Hanks never have been cast in Philadelphia because he doesn't actually have AIDS? Did Julia Roberts need to have "brothel experience" on her CV in order to be cast for Pretty Woman? Occult members, AIDS patients, and sex workers are severely under-represented among actors who have been cast for leading roles in popular films.

...or, is it simply more responsible for actors to do research about the lives of the characters they portray (as many of them do)? You're not transgender? Fine - spend some time with some transgender people, read some literature, get to know the issues and struggles and goals, and then go make your movie armed with that knowledge.

I reckon the same people who pushed Johansson to step down include many of the same people who support Idris Elba to be the next 007, a character who is strongly implied to be white in the source novels. (an idea which I'm fine with, by the way)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Indentity politics effecting the casting of a movie and only political correct opinions as an actor or actrice about the #Me Too movement otherwise you'll be grilled :)

The fundamentalists are there !

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Its called acting. People are playing someone not them-self. It is crazy for people to complain about this... By such twisted logic non-straight people should not play straight roles. Ridiculous.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I reckon the same people who pushed Johansson to step down include many of the same people who support Idris Elba to be the next 007, a character who is strongly implied to be white in the source novels. (an idea which I'm fine with, by the way)

Yeah I'm not convinced it's the right thing to do. I like him but changing the mold to meet diversity demands is likely to work against the films and the industry I think.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So ... a transgender man will refuse a role as a cis-male out of ethical considerations?

Folks, this was today’s Hollywood speaking. They like to believe they are leaders rather than entertainers. Good - just so long as they make movies worth paying to see.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“Rub and Tug”. About a woman running a prostitution business under cover of a massage parlor who then decides she’s really a man. Who woulda thunk?

Maybe Ms. Johansson just thought the script sucked and bailed out. Calling it an ethical decision on her part is Hollywood-style win-win.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well done to Johansson. I'm sure she would have done a great job. Still, it's about time more actors bring the disparity between regular and trans actors to light.

As for those complaining about her decision, let's be honest, you wouldn't have gone seen it anyway.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

LGBTQ+activists have justly campaigned against discrimination and won most people's acceptance of thier right to live as they choose. However now some of them are becoming bullies. If others don't agree with some parts of thier agenda they harass them, make them lose thier jobs, pressure them into resigning, refuse to do business with them, sue them and more. This is intolerant bullying.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Wait -- I don't get this.

A man can pretend to be a woman in real life. And on that basis, he can even use real-life women's restrooms, even at the same time as your real-life 11-year-old daughter.

But Scarlett Johansson -- a woman who has gotten rich and famous for playing make-believe in front of a camera -- can't play a man-pretending-to-be-a-woman in a movie?

This is "progressive logic" at its, uh, finest.

Personally, I don't agree with making movies about men pretending to be women, any more than they should make movies about men pretending to be penguins. (Unless the setting is a mental hospital.)

But if they're going to do such a movie, why can't an actress pretend to play the role of a man pretending to be a woman?

Does Tom Cruise need to be a real-world spy to play the role of Ethan Hunt in the "Mission Impossible" flicks?

This is a make-believe industry making a movie about a make-believe woman who's really man, but they're telling us that a real-life woman can't play that role.

This is absolute lunacy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A man can pretend to be a woman in real life. And on that basis, he can even use real-life women's restrooms, even at the same time as your real-life 11-year-old daughter.

Strawman argument, used again and again to denigrate trans women. Note how trans men are never mentioned.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As for those complaining about her decision, let's be honest, you wouldn't have gone seen it anyway.

You're probably right, although it would depend on the reviews.

I'm wondering what your take is on The Crying Game. The character of Dil was probably pre-op male-female trans, but played by Jaye Davidson who was not trans, although he ticked all the other right boxes for the part. If you haven't seen how he looks these days, and why I'm using the masculine personal pronoun, do a search. I'm pretty sure that movie broke a whole lot of new ground for the trans community - but if your criteria were applied, Davidson wouldn't have got the role.

I don't like what happened with Johansson because it's part of a movement that seeks to impose rigid didacticism and dogma on areas which should be full of imagination and creativity (to the extent that those qualities are valid in the movie biz). In the field of literature, the most high-profile recent victim would've been Lionel Shriver, accused of 'cultural appropriation' for the crime of daring to write characters who weren't white and middle-class, as she is. Think about the ramifications of that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I would like to live in a world where every actor can do their job and act out every kind of character, but I don't think we're quite at this point yet. Some groups of actors (transgendered in this case) are having an extra hard time finding jobs and aren't even allowed a chance to tell their own stories. Transgendered actors are definitely out there, and if the team behind this movie wanted to, they could have found someone. Until LGBT-actors are on equal footing with everyone else, I do think we should turn to them first when trying to tell their stories. They deserve the chance.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Note how trans men are never mentioned.

Okay. Let’s talk about trans men. There were “lady pirates” back when. Whether they thought they were really men or just gals out for adventure w/o the threat of rape who knows. It seems, however, that they thought it absolutely necessary to hide their assigned gender. There was a problem as the hearties (as in “Avast me hearties!”) peed over the side. What to do? I read that they always carried a reed in order to assume the usual male pose while tinkling. Why not sell such reeds now?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ike-in-Tokyo, would that include Long John Silver?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ike-in-Tokyo, would that include Long John Silver?

theFritzX: the name says it all ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Id have a lot more respect for ms johansson if she had told it like it really is, instead of reading fromthat obviously prepared by someone else statement. The reality is that this film was torpedoed by pc lefty imbeciles.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The problem is not that straight actors/actresses don't get to play LGBTQ roles

The problem is that LGBTQ actors/actresses are only asked to play LGBTQ roles

If LGBTQ actors/actresses also get to play straight roles, then straight actors/actresses playing LGBTQ roles would not be an issue

But with straight actors/actresses getting to play straight roles and LGBTQ roles, then LGBTQ actors/actresses would have no roles left for them

That's the issue

It's the same with Asian actors/actresses - they're really only asked to play Asian roles

If Asian actors/actresses also get to play headliner roles regularly like Westerners do, then Westerners taking Asian roles away from Asian actors/actresses won't be an issue as well

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lostrune, gay and lesbian actors are playing straight charracters all the time. That has been going on for centuries. But they still moan when a straight actor is chosen to play a gay charracter. Ian McKellern was complaining about just that not so long ago.

I think its called having your cake and eating it too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lostrune, gay and lesbian actors are playing straight charracters all the time.

Gay and lesbians, out of the closet, nowadays yeah. (In the olden times, they could only play straight characters as long as they don't come out of the closet which makes them too radioactive to be cast.) So at least that's progress

Trans though, not yet - they can still only play trans roles

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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