Scarlett Johansson has been in several Blockbuster movies such as Lost In Translation ("Charlotte", 2003), Ironman 2 ("Natalie Rushman"/"Natasha Romanoff", 2010) , Captain America: The Winter Soldier ("Natasha Romanoff"/"Black Widow", 2014), Captain America: Civil War ("Black Widow", 2016) and literally every single film in The Avengers Film Series ("Black Widow", 2012, 2015, 2018). If you weren't already aware, Avengers 4 is already scheduled for release in 2019.
Don't get me wrong, for a 33-year old white, cisgender woman I truly do congratulate her on her success, and having a net-worth over $100 million. I can only imagine how much time and work has gone into her career which hasn't only brought her 4 Golden Globe nominations but over 30 other awards wins and 100+ other nominations.
Recently, the extremely female-identifying actress accepted a new role that is a drastically different from her roles in the past. This time there are no Super Heroes or voice overs for musicals.
Scarlett Johansson will be starring in Rub & Tug as Tex Gill, a character who becomes the kingpin of crime in 1970's Pittsburgh by having a dominion of illegitimate massage parlors. Tex Gill is also a transgender male.
Take a look at the photo below:
WHY DO WE THINK IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO CAST A CISGENDER, EXTREMELY FEMALE IDENTIFIED ACTRESS FOR THIS ROLE?
Let's take a look at another photo:
Chaz, who came out as transgender on June 11, 2009, is best known for his work in a recent season of American Horror Story: Cult.
During his time filming for this season, he was in a total of 13 episodes. While it seems as though his acting career is still young and certainly not as robust as Ms. Scarlett Johansson, it's very clear that an actor like Chaz is a far better fit for this role.
When filming a movie based on a true story, wouldn't you first want to see if you could cast an actor who could relate to the main character as closely as possible? This makes it so much easier to invoke raw emotion that allows your audience to feel and connect more with the character.
Scarlett Johansson Is Not An Ally.
For the sake of saving time having to type her name out over and over, we'll just call her "S.J.".
It is rumored that in 2011, S.J. was presented with the HRC Ally for Equality award, which "Recognizes the outstanding efforts of those who use their voice to publicly stand up for the LGBTQ community."
I was a little taken aback by this so I did what I do best; turned to my trusty friend, Google!
I entered several different keywords and phrases like "Scarlett Johansson HRC Award", "2011 HRC Ally for Equality Award", "Scarlett Johansson LGBT Awards", etc. I'm sure you get the idea.
The first thing I was hoping to find was a direct post/video on the HRC website showing off the award being presented to S.J., but my efforts were met with no success. Okay, no problem. Let's move to Plan B: finding credible sources. This time I went from Google to Wikipedia.
"Aha!". I thought I had something. I found a list of awards and nominations up to 2017. This list only shows 1 result for 2011: A nomination for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress in Ironman 2.
It turns out that I was only able to find 3 sites that had any mention of S.J. receiving this prestigious award:
I wasn't able to find any credible source that actually proved she received it. Even though these are three different articles, they all essentially said the same thing:
"Johannson recently started to get involved with aid efforts in Haiti, but this particular award recognizes efforts made on behalf of the LGBT community, and is given to those who have dedicated their time, energy, and spirit to better the lives of LGBT people.'Scarlett Johansson has been a tremendous friend to the LGBT community and has for many years used her celebrity and talents to advocate for our rights,' HRC Los Angeles Gala Co-Chair Andrew Arnold stated. “We appreciate and honor her support as an ally with this award.”
If she has been such a tremendous friend to the community, why can't I find anything AT ALL about her "advocating for our rights"? Shouldn't there be at least one event that was littered with paparazzi and reporters dying to sell photos of a famous straight person helping the gays?
It didn't take me long to find information about Chaz Bono being an Ally for the LGBTQ+ community.
Since coming out, Chaz has written 4 books including his autobiography Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man. Chaz has been involved in working in the LGBTQ+ community since 1996, when he first worked for the Human Rights Campaign, then accepted a position as the Media & Entertainment Director for Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
In addition to writing and acting, he can dance! He broke the mold when he became the first transgender dancer and even took a stand against critics who believed that he should not be allowed to compete on the show.
Although he didn't win the show, he did take a stand against hate and prejudice by standing up for what he believes, who he is, and so many other people in his community.
Step Back So Others CAn Step Up.
Since I began volunteering in the LGBTQ+ community, there is one phrase that has followed me no matter where I've been; Step Up or Step Back. I have heard different youth, across multiple states, explain this phrase in the opening sessions of their groups where it is most often a rule of the space rather than just a phrase.
To Step Up means that you recognize the times in your group/organization when no one else is willing to do what needs to be done. This can be anything from cleaning up after a meal in the shared eating space to saying what needs to be said in a situation where someone is being bullied/abused.
To Step Back is to provide the space for others willing and able to Step Up and not take away their opportunity to grow and to shine. It's about respecting boundaries and being supportive of others.
Knowing when to Step Back is more important than knowing when to Step Up because you need to be aware of both yourself and the others around you. It can say a lot about a person if they aren't willing to Step Back and let others be involved.
Allies Know When To Step Up and Step Back.
The Christian Group from the Church of Freedom in Christ Ministries exuded a beautiful and perfect example of what it means to be an Ally and what it means to Step Up. They were bold enough to take a stand against the religious groups who were dedicated to spreading their hate at Pride festivals all over the country and let the people in the community know that they are supported and loved.
At the same time they were supporting the LGBTQ+ community at their event by holding up encouraging signs of apology, they also recognized that they needed to step back and not overpower the space by taking the spotlight or making the event about them.
Chaz Bono is a great example of someone who knows when to Step Up for the community. He Steps Up by writing books which create awareness, filming a documentary (Becoming Chaz) to create awareness and give a first person perspective into his life and what it's like and by continuing to be his best self so that he can be a positive role model for others to look up to.
Chaz hasn't always been on the path to success and fame like he is now. Before he began his transition, he struggled with an addiction and took a Step Back so he could re-evaluate his life and cope with his transition. Because he did that he allowed himself to Step Up to be the influential person he is today.
Take A Hint.
A report from CNN Entertainment highlights more transgender actors that could have been cast to play Tex in this new film but were snuffed out by a Hollywood prom queen who can't even answer for her own actions when responding to the out lash she has been receiving since the announcement.
"Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment". Jared Leto won an Oscar in 2014 for his portrayal of a transgender woman with AIDS in "Dallas Buyers Club." Felicity Huffman earned an Oscar nomination for her role as a trans woman in the 2005 film "Transamerica."
NONE of these actors are trans.
CAST TRANS ACTORS. LET THEM TELL THEIR STORIES. LET THEM LIVE THEIR TRUTH.
Hollywood is discriminating against the very people they're portraying in their films, making millions in profit from it, and it's bullshit.
After all this, I have only one question:
How come you won't hire us but you'll sell our story?
YOU CAN CALL ME DANISH
Writing about my life and experiences as a white, transgender, queer male.