Scarlett Johansson Praised by Transgender Community for Exiting 'Rub and Tug'
WENN/Adriana M. Barraza

Calling her decision 'brave and important,' Annie Wallace writes on Twitter, 'I absolutely applaud Scarlett Johansson's statement.'

AceShowbiz - Scarlett Johansson is receiving praise from the transgender community after exiting her new film "Rub & Tug" following the outcry surrounding her role as the transgender owner of a massage parlor.

"The Avengers" star signed on to portray real-life Pennsylvania crime boss Dante Gill, aka Lois Jean Gill, in director Rupert Sanders' movie, prompting leaders of America's transgender community to make it clear they were not fans of her casting.

The actress responded to the backlash via her publicist, who defended her decision to play a transgender man on the big screen by referring to other cisgender actors who did the same.

However on Friday, July 13, Scarlett backed out of the role.

"In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project," a statement to reads. "Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I've learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive. I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues..."

And she is now being praised for her decision.

"It says a lot about Scarlett Johansson," actress Rain Valdez tells The Hollywood Reporter. "That actually makes me a little emotional because it's not an easy industry for trans women. It's not an easy industry for trans men."

"This is an important moment for Hollywood," actress Annie Wallace adds on Twitter. "I absolutely applaud Scarlett Johansson's statement. It is a brave and important move, and should be welcomed as such. The onus is now on the film-makers to think again, and hopefully they'll find a trans star out there."

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