Scarlett Johansson faces casting backlash, this time for playing a transgender man

Scarlett Johansson faces casting backlash, this time for playing a transgender man

Scarlett Johansson is again at the center of a casting controversy, this time for accepting a role to play a transgender man. She's joining director Rupert Sanders to star in "Rub & Tug," a film based on the true story of transgender massage parlor owner Dante "Tex" Gill, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety have reported. Sanders previously directed Johansson in 2017's "Ghost in a Shell," another controversial role, in which she starred as the Japanese manga character Major Motoko Kusanagi. Johansson released a statement to Bustle via an unnamed representative: "Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment." For reference, those three cisgender actors played transgender characters in "Transparent," "Dallas Buyers Club" and "Transamerica," respectively. USA TODAY has reached out to Johansson's and Sanders' representatives for comment.