Scarlett Johansson admits she didn't handle the 'Rub & Tug' controversy well

Ben ArnoldContributor
Scarlett Johansson (Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Scarlett Johansson (Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Scarlett Johansson has admitted that she didn't handle the controversy which surrounded her brief casting in the biopic movie Rub & Tug very well.

Johansson was cast as Dante 'Tex' Gill, an infamous transgender massage parlour owner and gangster in Pittsburgh in the 1960s and 70s.

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However, when the casting was widely criticised, she initially pushed back.

Read more: Scarlett Johansson criticised over Allen defence

“Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment,” her people said at the time.

However, she later pulled out of the role, adding that she had later realised that the statement was 'insensitive'.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Johansson has revisited the controversy.

“I’m not a politician, and I can’t lie about the way I feel about things,” she said.

“I don’t have that. It’s just not a part of my personality. I don’t want to have to edit myself, or temper what I think or say. I can’t live that way. It’s just not me.

“And also I think that when you have that kind of integrity, it’s going to probably rub people, some people, the wrong way. And that’s kind of par for the course, I guess.”

Johansson was also asked about comments she's made about her relationship with Woody Allen, in which she's supported the director in the face of the long-standing claims that he molested his daughter Dylan Farrow as a child, allegations the director has denied and was cleared of in the 90s.

Woody Allen poses with Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson (Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Woody Allen poses with Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson (Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

“Even though there’s moments where I feel maybe more vulnerable because I’ve spoken my own opinion about something, my own truth and experience about it - and I know that it might be picked apart in some way, people might have a visceral reaction to it - I think it’s dangerous to temper how you represent yourself, because you’re afraid of that kind of response,” Johansson went on.

Read more: Jeff Goldblum says he would work with Woody Allen again

“That, to me, doesn’t seem very progressive at all. That seems scary. I don’t know - I feel the way I feel about it. It’s my experience. I don’t know any more than any other person knows. I only have a close proximity with Woody… he’s a friend of mine. But I have no other insight other than my relationship with him.”

She went on: “Just because I believe my friend does not mean that I don’t support women, believe women. I think you have to take it on a case-by-case basis. You can’t have this blanket statement - I don’t believe that. But that’s my personal belief. That’s how I feel.”

Johansson also came under heavy scrutiny after making the movie Ghost In The Shell, a live-action remake of the revered Japanese manga in 2017.

The Lost In Translation star's casting was deemed 'white-washing', in which a white actor or actress is cast in a role originally inhabited by a different ethnicity.

She’s next up in the Taika Waititi comedy movie Jojo Rabbit, due out in the UK on January 1, 2020.

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