The decision to cast Scarlett Johansson as a transgender man in the mob drama “Rub & Tug” raised a fair share of eyebrows and angered many in the trans community last week.
In the parody video above, however, a group of transgender male performers offer a cheekier take on the controversy by turning the tables and “auditioning” for some of Johansson’s best-known movie roles.
Released last week by Grindr’s online lifestyle magazine, INTO, the video stars Justin Chow, Scott Turner Schofield, D’Lo and Rocco Kayiatos. Together, the men give intentionally melodramatic readings of characters made famous by Johansson, including Charlotte in “Lost in Translation,” Natasha Romanoff in “The Avengers” and Anna in “He’s Just Not That Into You.”
At the clip’s conclusion, Schofield lands the part of Samantha in “Her,” but ends up turning down the role when he finds out it was written for a cisgender woman.
“I know that there are people who have lived this experience, who would bring a lot of authenticity to it,” he says, tongue planted firmly in cheek, “and I feel a little weird about taking that from them.”
Johansson has come under fire after it was announced she’d signed on to play Dante “Tex” Gill in “Rub & Tug,” which will be directed by Rupert Sanders. Though Gill’s gender identity has been described differently in various publications, most believe the real-life crime boss identified as transgender.
The actress addressed the controversy via a statement issued by her representative, who told Bustle, “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
Though Johansson’s remark referred to actors who have won critical acclaim for portraying trans characters on television and film, many have deemed it sarcastic and flippant.