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Scarlett Johansson will not play a transgender character on the big screen after all.
Last week, news that she would play real-life transgender man Dante "Tex" Gill in a new movie called Rub & Tug sparked a backlash from members of the LGBTQ community and their supporters, who felt her casting stole an acting opportunity from transgender actors and highlighted an ongoing problem of lack of diversity in film.
"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," Johansson said in a statement to Out magazine on Friday. "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. I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues. According to GLAAD, LGBTQ+ characters dropped 40% in 2017 from the previous year, with no representation of trans characters in any major studio release."