Watch 4 trans actors audition for Scarlett Johansson's past roles. They make an important point.

You've probably heard that Scarlett Johansson is slated to portray a transgender man in an upcoming movie.

The movie in question is "Rub & Tug." It's based on the life of Dante "Tex" Gill, who operated a massage parlor and a prostitution ring in Pittsburgh around the 1970s and 1980s, and it's believed that he identified as a transgender man.

To the transgender community, this casting decision is insulting. Transgender actors in Hollywood rarely get the chance to play a cisgender character. But cisgender actors — like Jared Leto, Jeffrey Tambor, and Matt Bomer — have often taken up the few transgender character roles out there.


It came as no surprise that Johansson, a cisgender woman, would receive backlash for taking the role of a transgender man.

To further illustrate the problem, a group of trans actors responded with a hilariously clever video.

Into, a digital magazine operated by Grindr, released a video featuring four trans actors auditioning for Johansson's roles in past movies. The actors — Justin Chow, Scott Turner Schofield, D'Lo, and Rocco Kayiatos — read lines from Samantha in "Her," Charlotte in "Lost in Translation," Natasha Romanoff in "The Avengers," and Anna in "He's Just Not That Into You."

The video hit the nail on the head at the end. When Schofield ended up earning the role of Samantha in "Her," he rejected the casting offer.

His reason? He knew that cisgender women are marginalized in Hollywood and didn't want to take their voice away from them.

"Sorry, I’m just having trouble because cis women are actually really marginalized in Hollywood,” Schofield says in the video. “I mean, I know that there are people who have lived this experience and would bring a lot of authenticity to it, and I feel a little weird taking that from them.”

Although the video is short and tongue-in-cheek, their message still stands strong.

Transgender people are a marginalized community. They are often persecuted for their gender identities, but seldom have the opportunities to share their own stories on a prominent platform.

Fortunately, some great strides have been made for transgender representation in Hollywood. Transgender rights activist Janet Mock made history in July 2018 for becoming the first trans woman of color to write and direct a television episode for the FX show "Pose." Laverne Cox was nominated twice for the Emmys in the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series category. Chaz Bono, the only child of Cher and Sonny Bono, has taken on television roles on "The Bold and the Beautiful" and "American Horror Story."

It should go without saying that they are just a select few out of a handful of talented transgender actors in Hollywood.

Perhaps it's time for Hollywood to take notice of them.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less