After receiving major backlash for initially taking the role of a transmasculine man in the based-on-a-true-story mob drama Rub & Tub, actress Scarlett Johansson, a cisgender woman, withdrew from playing the role last year. But it wasn’t the first time Johansson has faced outrage over her tendency to appropriate from other cultures and communities, and now she’s speaking up amid the outrage.
Turns out, she’s not sorry.
In a new interview with As If magazine, the actress says she isn’t with the “political correctness” of social media choosing what actors should fill what roles.
“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,” Johansson 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.
“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,” she added.
Scarlett Johansson, in regards to the Rub & Tug role, had initially been dismissive of pleas for her to give it up, telling her critics: “tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
The three had all previously played trans women in film and television before. Johansson would later offer an apology for her “insensitive” words.
Twitter doesn’t seem to share her views on this. Check out the reactions, below:
OMG I can’t believe I just met Scarlett Johansson!! what an honor!!! pic.twitter.com/81Ryb2t9XF— franzi (@niceonefransi) July 14, 2019
Can't wait for Scarlett Johansson to play María in the future Hollywood movie about a woman crossing the Venezuelan/Peruvian border on foot.— Alejandro Hernandez (@alejandro_mhr) July 14, 2019
Scarlett Johansson looks great in the upcoming POCAHONTAS remake pic.twitter.com/VjfanxrmB9— Tom Zohar (@TomZohar) July 14, 2019