Is An Uproar Over Casting Choices Necessary?
Weighing In On Scarlett Johansson Casting Controversy
By now you've probably heard Avengers Actress Scarlett Johansson has found herself in the middle of an uproar over a recent film's casting choices where she has been cast as massage parlor owner, Dante "Tex" Gill, a Transgender man, in the upcoming Rub & Tug. When asked about the casting choice and controversy, Johansson slickly refers to the casting choices of Jeffrey Tambor, Fecility Huffman, and Jared Leto who have all played Transgender characters in recent years, followed by much Academy success.
According to Buzzfeed, Transgender Actresses, Trace Lysette (Transparent) and Jamie Clayton (Sense 8), have vocalized their disgust over the casting choice. Along with those two ladies of the silver screen, the “I-Always-Have-Something-To-Complain-About-Blogger” Jen Richards proposed The Hollywood Reporter should hold a panel with Transgender actors ... because apparently she's an actress now, too. Lysette, who is clearly jealous she didn’t get the role, went so far to tweet she "is so done" with ...acting(?) over the casting decision. Check out her confusing and salty tweet.
After thinking about this over and over, I formulated my opinion to be this. While it is extremely clear Rub & Tug will obviously tank amid controversy, I cannot help but feel it is for all for the wrong reasons. Yes, I understand Johansson accepted a role that whited wash an Asian character and now has accepted a role of a Transgender man, but should we really be directing our anger toward her? Would you not accept a check and a job ... and a role in a film?! I guarantee you anyone complaining absolutely would.
Lysette, in particular, cites not being able to be in the same room as Johansson or Jennifer Lawrence for acting roles: It's why she's so upset. Let's take a step back, shall we? Is Lysette a household name? No. Is Lysette on the level of talent such as two leading Hollywood Actresses? Not yet. So, Lysette, you shouldn't be in the same room as them because you have not yet proved to be on the radar of someone who has worked for years in this industry. I'll be the first to admit I think the aforementioned Clayton has loads of talent, but once again, I cannot see any of the Transgender Actresses complaining over the casting choice in any mainstream role at least in the upcoming year. Why? Because they have yet to pay their dues to the industry.
Example: Do you think Jennifer Aniston was complaining she wasn't in the same room with the Hollywood Hot List when she was in her early 20s and took a leading role in the B-Horror film, Leprechaun? Probably! But she wasn't crying over it. She moved forward!
Unfortunately, I cannot think of a Transgender Male Actor besides Chaz Bono; are all Transgender men's roles to be only directed to him? This is acting, which so many people are separating from real life. If you'd like to see incredible, literally, stunning acting from the Transgender community, I advise you to watch Ryan Murphy's Pose – which Lysette is a character on! - and is arguably the best Summer 2018 television.
In closing, the whole film should be scrapped because the complaints have absolutely ruined it. But, there shouldn't have been commotion from the peanut gallery in the first place. I understand Transgender Actors want the door to be opened for them to earn and have roles. However, I think people need to understand that acting is a job. This isn’t a film plot where someone gets picked up off the street. If you’re putting in the time and work to get roles, they will come to you.
Writer's Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine or it's other Contributors.