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.