2018-07-05 16:46:44 UTC
Trace Lysette and Jamie Clayton, two trans actors, have added their voices to
the chorus of people who disapprove of Scarlett Johansson's recent casting as
Dante "Tex" Gill, a trans man who owned massage parlors that doubled as
prostitution establishments in the '70s.
Johansson faced backlash earlier this week when it was announced that she would
be working with Rupert Sanders, the same director she teamed up with on the
critically panned Ghost in the Shell, for a new film called Rub & Tug.
Johansson is set to play Gill, but people have taken issue with the fact that
the actor is cisgender a person whose personal identity and gender correspond
with their sex at birth and would be playing a trans man.
A lot of the criticism around the topic stems from the fact that there are so
few roles for actual transgender people.
In a response that didn't help the matter, Johansson's publicist responded to
the pushback, saying, "Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor,
Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment."
"Oh word?? So you can continue to play us but we can't play y'all?" Lysette said
on Tuesday, who's best known for her role as Shea on Transparent. "I wouldn't be
upset if I was getting in the same rooms as Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett for
cis roles, but we know that's not the case. A mess."
Lysette also noted that cisgender actors are often praised for taking on trans
roles. "You pat yourselves on the back with trophies and accolades for mimicking
what we have lived... so twisted," she said.
In recent years, some actors have been recognized with Academy Award wins and
nominations for playing trans women, like Jared Leto, who won in 2014 for his
role in Dallas Buyers Club, and Eddie Redmayne, who was nominated for his role
in The Danish Girl in 2016.
Prior to that, Felicity Huffman was nominated for an Oscar in 2006 for her role
in Transamerica, and in the late '90s, Hilary Swank won Best Actress for
portraying Brandon Teena in Boys Don't Cry, based on the real-life story of a
trans man who was brutally murdered in 1993.
Sense8 actor Clayton echoed a similar response in a tweet that went viral.
"Actors who are trans never even get to audition for anything other than roles
of trans characters," she said.
"Thats the real issue," Clayton continued. "We can't even get in the room. Cast
actors who are trans as non trans characters. I dare you."
Social reaction was strong, with a lot of people showing support for Lysette and
Clayton. "Just give trans actors and POC more roles in general," one person