Scarlett Johansson and director Rupert Sanders faced backlash this week after it was reported that she will be playing a transgender man in the upcoming film “Rub & Tug,” which is based on the real story of a massage parlor owner who was trans.
Critics of the casting choice said that a cis actor can’t truly portray or understand the transgender experience, that it reduces the transgender experience to playing dress up and that this is an example of a cis actor taking an opportunity for representation away from a trans actor.
Defenders of the choice have said that it is the job of actors to embody experiences that they haven’t lived – so isn’t Johansson just doing her job?
Johansson responded to the criticisms to a Bustle representative by saying, "Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment."
If you are a person who is trans, working in Hollywood, what do you think of the casting choice? Can and should a cis actor play a trans character on screen?
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