When The Anti-Liberty Mobs Attack, Courage And Character Are Paramount, Part I: The “Rub & Tug” Fiasco

As I explained in the initial post about the “Rug and Tug” controversy, the protests against Scarlett Johansson being cast as a biological female who led her life as a transsexual male  (that’s “Tex” on the left) made no sense. The arguments put forth by the transgender cyber-mob and others  undermined the movement for non-traditional casting that would provide minorities, like trans actors, more opportunities in their chosen field.  Their position was a double standard and  internally inconsistent, asserting that biological males who had transitioned to female were a more logical choice to play a real life character who was born female, than a female actress who would be playing a female identifying as a male…when as a female actress, that’s what she would be doing in reality. The controversy was unfair to Johansson (again) and was contrary to the whole concept of acting. Never mind! Transsexuals are currently the darling victim group of the Left, and don’t have to make sense, be consistent, or even advocate causes that avoid undermining other progressive causes and constituencies. What they say is just right, because they say so, that’s all, and anyone who disagrees is a bigot, and that’s that. They want what they want, and because they have been discriminated against in the past, they don’t have to be logical or consistent.

Thus, in episodes like this they can become monsters, using bullying and  social media to demand their desires regardless of whether it is an ethical position or not. Make no mistake: in this case, their position was not an ethical one. What is desperately needed when groups misbehave this way and abuse their influence and power is for their target to say no. Unfortunately, doing so requires unusual levels of principal, character, responsibility, intelligence and courage.

Johansson is a talented actress and a major star, but she does not, we now know, have what it takes. Noticing that no significant voices in Hollywood rallied to her defense, the actress quit the project and resigned from the role, issuing standard Hollywood political correctness blather:

“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. 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. According to GLAAD, LGBTQ+ characters dropped 40% in 2017 from the previous year, with no representation of trans characters in any major studio release. While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film. I believe that all artists should be considered equally and fairly. My production company, These Pictures, actively pursues projects that both entertain and push boundaries. We look forward to working with every community to bring these most poignant and important stories to audiences worldwide.”

This is Authentic Frontier Gibberish, self-contradictory and easily translated as “Hey, whatever the anointed  in-group says is right is right with me! I’m certainly not going to buck conventional wisdom if it means losing fans, roles, and money! You tell me what to think, and I’ll think it. Tell me to jump, and I’ll say “How high?” I welcome my Political Correctness Masters, and will do their bidding.”

Nice. You’re pathetic, Scarlett. Typical of most artists, especially actors, especially in Hollywood, but pathetic. You have neither integrity nor guts.

Here’s what that contradictory mess of a capitulation to bullying really means at key points:

  • “In light of recent ethical questions…”

There are no “ethical questions.” In Johannson’s profession, in performance, in art, in theater, in films, it is ethical for any actor to be cast as anyone or any thing if they can pull the role off.  There are no exceptions, and no situations where this is not true. If trans actors can insist that only they can play trans characters, then any group can make the same demand, choking off art, creativity, employment and commerce.

  • “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 was not aware that transgender people could be just as vicious and unreasonable as other people, and I don’t have the courage to stand my ground when I am in the right and they are in the wrong. Oopsie!’

  • “I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues.”

Blatant virtue-signalling, the meaningless “conversation” cliche, and a flapping white flag. Got it, Scarlett. Don’t take edgy roles if you don’t have the character to be edgy.

  • “According to GLAAD, LGBTQ+ characters dropped 40% in 2017 from the previous year, with no representation of trans characters in any major studio release.”

And now, thanks to Scarlett’s craven complicity, there will be one less representation of trans characters in any major studio release, because without a major star to star in “Rub & Tug,” the project has the box office appeal of a Kevin Spacey film. The movie was getting funding because of her. She killed it. Good job, everybody!

  • “I believe that all artists should be considered equally and fairly.”

Obviously she doesn’t, or she would not cave-in to a demand that she not play a trans man. We get it, Scarlett: you believe what you believe, unless and until it requires some backbone and telling bullies to get lost. You were being told that you could not play a role you were as qualified to play as anyone else. You folded like a wet business card.

  • “My production company, These Pictures, actively pursues projects that both entertain and push boundaries.”

Unless, of course, pushing those boundaries upset the wrong people, or threaten my personal popularity with the Progressive Elite.

Asks Amy Alkon: “Scarlett Johansson will be snapped up for other pictures pronto — but about all the other cast and crew who have been on hold or would have been hired for this…will the mob be chipping in for their mortgages and their kids’ dental expenses? ”

Other counting on the project don’t matter sufficiently to Johansson, so they are out of luck. When her project was unjustly challenged and threatened by bullies, unethical extremists and ideologues, her only thought was to save her own neck. Now we know all we need to know about her. Superheroes are now signing petitions to protest her portraying a member of “The Avengers.” Weenies, it says, should not play heroes.

Courage, fortitude, valor and sacrifice are among the enabling virtues, without which being ethical becomes impossible. Johansson has proven that she cannot be counted on to do the right thing when it isn’t easy and everyone isn’t cheering.

If our society is going to successfully oppose those who would strangle our society’s freedoms, however, the rest of us need to be ready to do what Scarlett could not: defy the mob.

10 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Character, Gender and Sex, Popular Culture, Social Media

10 responses to “When The Anti-Liberty Mobs Attack, Courage And Character Are Paramount, Part I: The “Rub & Tug” Fiasco

  1. Chris Marschner_

    Jack,

    Keep shining the light on mob actions. There are too few who will stand up against them.

    We must all act individually against the mob for if we choose to wait until it is easy to do so because public sentiment is with us we merely substitute our mob for theirs.

  2. Mrs. Q

    How do we actually know if Tex identified as male? Billy Tipton is a similar case and quite frankly we don’t really know if either of these folks really thought they were men or identified fully as such. Butch lesbians are now continually being told life would be “better” if they just went trans and in the process deceased masculine women are posthumously being adopted by the trans lobby. This whole thing feels like lesbian erasure and of course no one from the LGBTQRSTUV+™® upper echelon is noting this “phenomenon.”

    If we really don’t know how these born-women truly identified, then the casting net was wide open. Johansson would have been a lovely choice & her deferring to an increasingly intolerant lobby only continues to discount butch women in history and now.

    • Thanks, Mrs. Q. That is an interesting and perceptive. I wondered the same things as I read the stories.

      jvb

      PS:

      LGBTQRSTUV+™®

      What does the “U” stand for? Undifferentiated? Uncertain? Unaware?

      jvb

  3. Paul Compton

    “You tell me what to think, and I’ll think it. Tell me to jump, and I’ll say “How high?” I welcome my Political Correctness Masters, and will do their bidding.”

    That is the job description for an actor. The organ grinder turns the handle and the monkey kapers! She has been conditioned all her working life just like Pavlov’s dogs.

    Yeah, a bit simplistic, but true.

  4. dragin_dragon

    Once upon a time, the principle of majority rule held sway in this country. It is obvious this is no longer the case. I’m not talking about civil rights, here, I’m talking about rules. We now have .03% of the population dictating to us how we will cast our movies and plays. Ridiculous.

  5. I agree with Paul, in that actors are not taught, in Hollywood, to have strong convictions at all.

    going along to get along seems to be the theme, be it for roles, politics, or on the casting couch.

  6. Chris Marschner_

    There is a theory taught in first level college economics classes called “Premium Wage Theory”. In a nutshell, it postulates that an employer will pay more than market wages to increase the opportunity cost of losing one’s job. Conceptually, the employee will work more diligently because if he does not his alternative employment option for his skill set will be at a much lower value.

    This, I believe, is why many will do just about anything for the lure of a fat paycheck. It appears that the concept is being applied to highly paid employees to get them to sacrifice their personal “creed” to keep the money flowing.

    Years ago we often spoke of not discriminating on the basis of race, sex, religion or creed. Today, a person’s creed is fair game for discrimination. This often results in the selling of one’s soul for the fiddle of gold. Arguably, if you sell your soul for gold your principles are not that strong. But, what if we added the term creed into the legislated non-discrimination protections currently on the books. Would that change the employee’s calculus in many of these situations? I don’t know but it would raise the cost for blackballing people in the entertainment industry as well as reduce the number of establishments chasing ideologically different patrons from their establishments and might condition people into being truly tolerant.

    • +5 for the Charlie Daniels reference

      I know for a fact that this works as it has kept me in a job for years that my morals and ethics said was wrong. I was paid well above market rate for holding my nose. (I was young, with a wife who could not work, and three kids: I did what I had to)

      Company pandered to illegal aliens with services, turning a blind eye to immigration status. I, (being somewhat conversant in spanish) was called to train this company’s phone workers on our Customer Service Management system, so I got to know that community quite well.

  7. I can’t find this on the Ethics Rationalization List (I am sure it is there but I can’t find it . . .) but I read Scarlett’s statement as the “Great Ethics Shrug”, better known as “Who Really Needs This Nonsense = I Have Better Things to do with My Time”.

    So, she issues some platitudes about personal growth and awareness, participating in the “conversation”, and expresses gratitude to/for the aggrieved community and moves on to something more lucrative.

    The wreckage lies behind her, and she simply says, “Um, well, you were right. Cast a trans person for the role and let’s get this thing moving.” All the while, the film budget dries up, cameras are moved to the next project, actors and actress (qua performer) are dismissed to their next (hopefully) projects or tending tables at that super trendy taco joint while they wait (pun intended) for their next “big break”, and the world keeps on turning.

    jvb

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