Scarlett Johansson faces backlash over controversial new role

Taylor Hill/Getty Images(HOLLYWOOD) — Scarlett Johansson has found herself at the center of a casting controversy yet again.

According to reports, the actress, who was criticized for playing a traditionally Asian character in Rupert Sanders’ 2017 film, Ghost in the Shell, has teamed up with the director again to star as a transgender man in his upcoming film, Rub & Tug.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that the movie centers on the real-life story of Dante “Tex” Gill, who ran a massage parlor and prostitution ring in Pittsburgh in the 1970s and 1980s.

Gill was born Jean Marie Gill, and though it is unclear if he identified as transgender, The Hollywood Reporter noted that an obituary in his local newspaper reported Gill “[insisted] that she was a man.”

When asked to respond to those who said a transgender actor should play the part, Johansson’s publicist told Bustle on Tuesday: “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”

Tambor, Leto, and Huffman have all played transgender roles in the past. Tambor won two Emmys for his role in the Amazon series Transparent, Leto took home an Oscar for his work in Dallas Buyers Club, and Huffman won a Golden Globe for her performance in Transamerica.

A representative for Johansson did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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