Scarlett Johansson defends recent casting controversies, Play transgender and Asian characters amid criticism, Hollywood after transgender backlash. Scarlett Johansson said “I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal”. In a new interview with As If magazine, Johansson said she should be able to play whichever characters she chooses despite repeated criticisms of her casting in roles that many felt would have been better suited to other actors.
Many felt that the role should have gone to a transgender performer in a bid to increase diversity in Hollywood; their complaints came on the back of the actress’s decision to also accept the role of an Asian character in Ghost In The Shell in 2017. She’s drawn criticism in the past for playing the lead in an adaptation of Ghost in the Shell and a trans man in Rub & Tug.
She said “You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job”. “I feel like it’s a trend in my business and it needs to happen for various social reasons, yet there are times it does get uncomfortable when it affects the art because I feel art should be free of restrictions”. “I think society would be more connected if we just allowed others to have their own feelings and not expect everyone to feel the way we do.
The comments have received criticism online. Writer Charlotte Clymer said: “Scarlett Johansson is a cisgender white woman with a powerful platform and no storage of work opportunities. Describing the backlash as a “trend”, she also said: “I feel like it’s a trend in my business and it needs to happen for various social reasons. Yet there are times it does get uncomfortable when it affects the art because I feel art should be free of restrictions.”
She added: “I will not be seeing any films that involve Scarlett Johansson moving forward. I do not want to give my money to someone who trivializes the oppression of trans people and diminishes the importance of our visibility.”
Scarlett Johansson is a cisgender white woman with a powerful platform and no storage of work opportunities. Trans people should play trans people. Period. It is incredibly disappointing that she has learned nothing and clearly does not care about the experiences of trans people. https://t.co/yWMeCZbUMS
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) July 13, 2019
Yes, ScarJo, you should be able to play a tree. Because there aren’t countless sentient trees desiring to act yet struggling to get cast in roles. But there ARE ton of LGBTQIA l/non binary actors who have vocalized that they would love to represent those characters.
— Stephanie Mickus (@smickable) July 13, 2019