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These tweets Show the Backlash to Casting Scarlett Johansson in a Trans Role

Charmaine Blake

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Did you hear about the latest Scarlett Johansson casting debacle?

Here’s how a good portion of the internet reacted to the news:

In case you missed it, here’s a brief recap:

ScarJo was recently cast as Dante “Tex” Gill, a real-life transgender man who oversaw a massage parlor and sex work business in Pittsburgh in the ’70s and ’80s. A new film about his life, currently titled “Rub & Tug,” is being co-produced by Johansson — and, conveniently enough, stars her as well.

But as the previous tweet not-so subtly suggested, many people aren’t thrilled about Johansson, who is cisgender, portraying Gill, who was transgender. And rightfully so.

But wait! Before you argue, “Well, isn’t that what acting is all about — pretending to be somebody you’re not?” hear what a few trans actors had to say about the news. Because if anyone should be heard on this issue, it’s them.

Jamie Clayton, who starred in “Sense8,” wasn’t thrilled.

Trans actors don’t get nearly the same opportunity as cis artists, she argued, which gets at the heart of the issue.

Trace Lysette, known for her role in “Transparent,” also made a similar argument.

If she were getting a seat at the table, things would be different. But those seats are reserved for cis women.

It makes matters worse when those same cis actors are celebrated for playing trans characters when actual trans actors never even had a shot, Lysette continued in a follow-up tweet.

They make a great point.

Very few transgender characters make it onto the big screen, period. But even when they do, those characters are often defined solely by their gender identities, fall into harmful stereotypes, or serve no purpose to the plot other than to be the butt of transphobic jokes.

In recent years, more fully realized trans characters made it into Hollywood narratives. But when they do, too often they’re still portrayed by cisgender actors, like Matt Bomer, Jeffrey Tambor — and now Scarlett Johansson.

As Lysette and Clayton noted, it’s still rare (read: basically impossible) for trans actors to be cast in cisgender roles. So it’s understandably infuriating when the few opportunities that do arise for them are snatched away by cis Hollywood heavyweights who no doubt have a plethora of scripts to choose from.

Beyond affecting the opportunities for trans actors, though, these casting decisions have real-world ramifications as well.

When cisgender actors are cast in transgender roles, it perpetuates the harmful myth that transgender people are simply “in drag” — that they’re really just pretending or performing, GLAAD’s Nick Adams argued in The Hollywood Reporter:

“Hollywood is having a very difficult time letting go of the idea that putting a male actor in a dress, wig and makeup is an accurate portrayal of a transgender woman. … It’s yet another painful reminder that, in the eyes of so many people, transgender women are really just men. That message is toxic and dangerous.”

It’s a notion, he argued, that attempts to justify bigoted bathroom laws and fuels violence against the transgender community.

Casting decisions on Hollywood sets do make a difference in real life, whether we believe it or not.

But maybe there’s a way out of this latest casting mess.

First, Johansson can apologize for her incredibly insensitive response to the criticism, as well as her defensive alignment with cis actor Jeffrey Tambor’s role as a trans woman in “Transparent” (remember, he allegedly sexually harassed then-assistant Trace Lysette).

Then she can take YouTuber Grace Randolph’s idea and run with it:

“I hope the Scarlett Johansson controversy doesn’t keep the amazing story of Jean Marie Gill aka Dante ‘Tex’ Gill from being told. If Johansson was smart, she’d find a new director, take the role of Tex’s girlfriend Cynthia, and give a trans actor a big break.”

That’s not a bad idea, really. Hopefully someone in Hollywood is listening.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/these-tweets-nailed-why-casting-scarlett-johansson-in-a-trans-role-is-not-so-great

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Sounds like Jon Hamm would be interested in playing Batman

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Jon Hamm, future Batman?

Image: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

“There have been been rumours and speculation about Ben Affleck stepping down as Batman for a long time now — and with the recent reports that Henry Cavill may also be on his way out as Superman, they’ve been given a fresh lease of life.

The question is, who would replace him?

Well, there would probably be no shortage of actors lining up — and it sounds like Jon Hamm is keen to place himself towards the front of the queue.

“It depends on the script, what the story is,” Hamm recently told Graham Bensinger during an In Depth interview, per the Hollywood Reporter. “I am a huge comic book fan, always have been. I’ve read comic books since I was nine or younger. And I’m pretty knowledgeable about a lot of them. And I like the genre, and I like when they’re done well.”

“I’d probably fit the suit.”

Hamm went on to say that he’s heard rumours of fans calling for him to play Batman since the early days of Mad Men — but so far it’s not something he’s ever discussed with anyone.

“I have never been offered anything,” he said. “I think the internet wants what it wants. But, I mean, a lot of people have to sign off on that, obviously not just the internet.”

So would Hamm be interested if someone were to approach him about the role?

“I’d probably fit the suit,” he said. “I’d have to work out a lot, which I don’t love. But, I am sure there’s an interesting version of that being out there.

“And if they wanted to tap me on the shoulder and ask me to do it, why not?”

Why not, indeed.”

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‘Guardians’ star Dave Bautista: ‘I dont know if I want to work for Disney’

Charmaine Blake

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“I dont know if I want to work for Disney.”

Image: Brian J Ritchie/Hotsauce/REX/Shutterstock

The ousting of James Gunn from the third Guardians of the Galaxy film has left Dave Bautista incensed.

In an interview on Saturday, the Hollywood star — who plays Drax — told The Jonathan Ross Show that his future in the third film of the franchise is in doubt.

“It’s a bittersweet conversation. No, it’s a bitter-bitter conversation, because I’m not really happy with what they’ve done with James Gunn,” he said.

“They’re putting the movie off. It’s on hold indefinitely. And to be honest with you, I don’t know if I want to work for Disney.”

“Bautista has long threatened to cut ties if Gunn wasn’t given his job back, telling ShortList that he would “ask [Marvel] to release me from my contract, cut me out or recast me.”

Back in July, Gunn was ousted as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after inappropriate tweets written years ago were unearthed, and last month, Disney and Marvel finally closed the door to giving him a second chance.

“I’ve been very vocal about the way I feel. I am not afraid to admit how I feel,” Bautista told the show.

It might be surprising to hear an actor be so outspoken against his employers (especially since others would just opt to shut up and take the money) but as Bautista puts it: “I don’t think I’m your typical Hollywood guy.”

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Ethan Hawke: superhero movies are overrated

Charmaine Blake

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The actor has drawn anger for comments suggesting that commercial concerns are behind presentation of films such as Logan as highbrow entertainment

The actor Ethan Hawke has questioned the quality of superhero films, saying that even the most praised are not Bresson … not Bergman. But they talk about it like it is.

In an interview with the Film Stage, Hawke discussed what he saw as the increasing marginalisation of indie movies at the multiplex.

Now we have the problem that they tell us Logan is a great movie, he said. Well, its a great superhero movie. It still involves people in tights with metal coming out of their hands. Its not Bresson. Its not Bergman. But they talk about it like it is.

Logan, in which Hugh Jackman played an ageing Wolverine, won acclaim for what many saw as an emotional depth unusual in the genre. Its screenplay won nominations from the Academy Awards and Writers Guild of America.

Hawke continued: I went to see Logan cos everyone was like, This is a great movie and I was like, Really? No, this is a fine superhero movie. Theres a difference, but big business doesnt think theres a difference. Big business wants you to think that this is a great film because they wanna make money off of it.

Hawkes comments met with a mixed reception online, where many accused him of pretentiousness.

jourdain searles (@jourdayen)

this ethan hawke discourse is STILL HAPPENING? hes always been a snob, yall. hes not taking superhero movies away from you, lol.

August 27, 2018

Alexandre ‘Crabbe Goyle’ Pereira (@pereira_alex_89)

What is a “great film”, because I thought that Logan was at least a triple threat – great script, great performance and great direction.
But people like Ethan Hawke is exactly why that most popular movie category is bullshit, because it allows film snobs to denounce great movies https://t.co/4Byzdyl64w

August 26, 2018

The actor who is currently winning acclaim for his performance in Paul Schraders First Reformed was accused of a similar elitism five years ago, when he attacked the Oscars for celebrating forgettable, stupid movies and mediocre performers.

Making a priority of chasing these fake carrots and money and dubious accolades, was, he said, I think, really destructive.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/aug/27/ethan-hawke-superhero-movies-are-overrated-logan

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