Scarlett Johansson Under Fire For Playing A Transgender Man

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.

In a film by the director of ‘Ghost in the Shell’

Following last year's Ghost in the Shell debacle, Scarlett Johansson and Rupert Sanders are coming under fire again. But this time, it's for their forthcoming film, Rub & Tug. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Johansson is set to star in the Sanders-directed drama based on the real story of Dante "Tex" Gill, the notorious owner of a string of illicit "massage parlors," which served as prostitution fronts in 1970s Pittsburgh. Gill, who famously feuded with the mob and served seven years for tax evasion, definitely has a story worth telling. However, as noted by ScreenCrush, the real Gill lived as a transmasculine person—so casting Johansson as the lead is pretty problematic.

It's difficult to ascertain the gender identity of historical figures, however Gill's obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is quite telling. Writing that they preferred "to be known as a man," asked to be referred to as "Mr. Gill," and may "have undergone the initial stages of a sex change," it seems pretty clear that Gill actively did not identify as a woman. So to have Johansson take on this role as a cisgender woman is, obviously, rubbing many the wrong way.

On top of blatant trans-erasure, the way Rub & Tug is currently being presented currently is also quite damaging. Just look at the descriptions currently floating around, such as Variety's write-up which posits Gill was a "woman... flourishing in the male-dominated business of massage parlors and prostitution." By continuing to insinuate that Gill was "posing" as a man to further their career, the media is perpetuating the harmful idea that transpeople are "pretending"—and that's not okay. 

Neither Johansson or Sanders has commented on the backlash thus far.

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Along with

Showtime just ordered a pilot episode of Casallina "Cathy" Kisakye's comedy anthology series, which will be executive-produced by Lena Waithe. The show, called How to Make Love to a Black Woman (Who May Be Working Through Some Shit), sounds like it'll be... informative.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, though the series is a comedy, it will also touch on some vulnerable subjects as well. It described the show as being about "connection and rejection that explore our most harrowing—and harrowingly comic—sexual secrets." Waithe said in a statement about the news, "Cathy's script is haunting, funny, and extremely vulnerable—it's the kind of script that doesn't come around very often." She continues, showing her excitement for the project: "I'm honored that Cathy trusts me with such a special project. I can't wait for the world to see it."

Kisakye, who previously worked with Waithe on The Chi, says that the show is close to her heart, and that the series will portray three-dimensional, complex women. "With How to Make Love, I'm thrilled to tell stories about the women I know, who are complicated, passionate, resilient, and relatable," she said in a statement.

Kisakye is the creator of the show, and will be writing the pilot script. It's the latest project to come to Showtime through Waithe's first-look deal and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, should it go to series, this would be the first anthology for the network.



Screenshot via Youtube

While the song should serve as a reminder to your exes

Just a day after dropping new single "Nunya," featuring Dom Kennedy, Kehlani has released the winter-wonderland visuals to go along with. The singer, NYLON November cover star, and mother-to-be rocks some of the best winter 'fits I've seen in a while, including a glorious puffer jacket that could double as a down comforter that I absolutely need in my life right now.

Kehlani is clearly living her best life up in some snow-filled forest hideaway, vibing on the beach at sunset and sipping on something bubbly as she coolly reminds nosy exes that who she's with is "nunya business." There's not much of a story line (unlike her recent "Nights Like This" video); the main takeaway is that Kehlani is busy dancing through a forest, missing no one and chilling amongst people who are clearly not the subjects of the song.

Kehlani is only two short months away from bringing baby Adeya into the world, who she thanked for helping her get through the video process. "Shot that 7 months pregnant in da snow..." Kehlani wrote on Twitter, adding, "thank u baby for da motivation, mommy was FROZE."

Even from the womb, Adeya has been hustling hard alongside her momma. Twitter user @ODtheMC pointed out that this is already her second music video appearance, and she's not even been born.

Get some mulled wine ready and escape into Kehlani's winter getaway, below. Stay tuned for her forthcoming mixtape, While We Wait, out on February 22.

Kehlani - Nunya (feat. Dom Kennedy) [Official Music Video]