Scarlett Johansson Insists Actors ‘Should Be Allowed To Play Any Person’ After Quitting Heavily-Criticised Transgender Role

The Avengers: Endgame star was the highest paid actress in the world last year.

Scarlett Johansson has insisted actors should not be restricted from taking on certain roles.

The actress pulled out of the film Rub & Tug last year after it emerged she was set to play a transgender character.

Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson
SIPA USA/PA Images

The Avengers: Endgame star was heavily criticised for taking on the role, which many detractors argued should have gone to a transgender performer in a bid to increase diversity in Hollywood.

But the 34-year-old star has now waded back into the debate, insisting “art should be free of restrictions”.

In an interview with As If magazine, she said: “You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job.

“I feel like it’s a trend in my business and it needs to happen for various social reasons, yet there are times it does get uncomfortable when it affects the art because I feel art should be free of restrictions.

“I think society would be more connected, if we just allowed others to have their own feelings and not expect everyone to feel the way we do.”

Scarlett immediately faced criticised for her comments on social media...

The debate around diversity in Hollywood has attracted high-profile advocates on both sides.

Two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett said she would “fight to the death” to defend an actor’s right to take any role, while Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston defended his casting as a disabled character in The Upside.

On the opposite side of the argument, British actress Jameela Jamil revealed she turned down a film in which she would have played a deaf woman, arguing the role should go to an actor who is hearing impaired.

And Darren Criss, star of American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, vowed not to take any more roles as LGBT characters.