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Twitter Abuzz as Scarlett Johansson Quits Transgender Role Amid LGBT+ Backlash

© REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni / 89th Academy Awards - Oscars Red Carpet Arrivals - Hollywood, California, U.S. - 26/02/17 - Scarlett Johansson
89th Academy Awards - Oscars Red Carpet Arrivals - Hollywood, California, U.S. - 26/02/17 - Scarlett Johansson - Sputnik International
The casting of the Hollywood star has sparked an outcry on social media, mainly from the LGBT+ community, and has been used to highlight the limited opportunities given to transgender actors and actresses.

Actress Scarlett Johansson announced she was dropping out of the movie “Rub and Tug,” in which she was due to star in the lead role and play the real-life transgender man Dante “Tex” Gill, owner of a massage parlor and sex work business and was known as a major crime figure during the 1970s-1980s.

“Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive. While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film,” the Hollywood star said in a statement to LGBT+ magazine Out.

Her response to an avalanche of criticism has caused a storm on social media, as many started condemning the LGBT+ community for the reaction to Johansson’s being cast in the movie, explaining that “it’s called acting for a reason”…

…and followed through with the same logic:

Johansson’s decision led to applause from one-time critics:

Others went on to say that they wouldn’t praise her for the decision she made because she shouldn’t have taken the role in the first place:

There were those who defended transgender actors, highlighting the lack of representation:

Johansson’s pullout from the movie follows a massive backlash from the LGBT+ community, with transgender actresses even speaking out that there were “no excuses for not hiring trans actors for trans roles.”

READ MORE: Transgender Person Wins Spain's Beauty Pageant, Aims at Miss Universe

In response to the criticism, Johansson said, “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment,” in an apparent allusion to cisgender actors, who played transgender leading roles in “Transparent,” “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Transamerica.”

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