Dear Whiners: Let’s Talk About Scarlett Johannson’s New Movie Role… Again

Yes. Read that again. I said whiners, not winners because these people never win.

Perhaps you heard about the new Scarlett Johansson controversy that bubbled into conversation on Wednesday. Apparently, she’s been cast to play a transman in the upcoming movie Rub & Tug,” based on the true story of transgender massage parlor owner Dante “Tex” Gill and trans™ ‘actors’ are pissed. Of course, they’re making the same claim here that they made during the Ghost In A Shell controversy: “You’re erasing people, so you must do what I say and repent.”

This fist-shaking mob is nothing short of a parody of itself and shouldn’t be taken seriously. No one cares what you think. As I scrolled through the posts, I wondered to myself, “What kind of ego do these people have to have to think they think they can dictate how something is made when they have zero investment in it?” That’s actually what they’re doing. They’re looking at these movies, seeing they aren’t cast how they want them, and though they are not involved in the projects in any way, they believe that screaming like a harpie means that their demands will now be met.

Are you insane? If anything, when you scream like a harpie, it justifies people to completely shut you out so you don’t think you can do it again next time.

Last I heard, Johansson didn’t back down from the role and she didn’t apologize. When she was questioned on why she took the role, an unnamed representative responded by saying, “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”

Now let’s look through some of the responses and… respond appropriately, because maybe they don’t understand just how unimportant and wrong they are:

1. Merit (Or Make Some Friends)

 

 

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Trace here is pissed off because she didn’t get the role — or someone she wanted to get the role. Does she not understand that you have to go to auditions and be the best suited for the role (in acting, personality (to mesh with the cast), budget, and fit the vision of the director). Though we already know some directors don’t cast based on merit considering how many movies are cast with the same actors when certain actors or directors are involved. This movie might be a case of that considering the director for this new movie is the same director for Ghost in a Shell.

In show business, in any artistic business to be quite honest, networking and being pleasant is part of the job. There is a lot of nepotism in art industries, whether it’s film, TV, theater, or publishing. A lot of people get their roles or their lucky breaks by knowing the right people. You might not like it because it takes the opportunity away from someone else to get a job, but guess what? It’s not our money we’re sinking into this project.

We can call it stupid, we can disapprove of nepotism in these industries, but as long as their budgets are still being covered, no one is going to stop working with the people they know, especially when the people they’re working with are pleasant. It’s incredibly important to be a pleasant person to be around if you ever want to get a job in show business. Otherwise, most directors will cut you and never work with you again.

Goes to my next point:

2. Who Would Want to Work With You?

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Seriously… When so much of what you do is just complain about not being treated special because you made some decisions… You think anyone will want to be around you? The general LGBT crowd has made themselves so unpleasant to be around because they get offended at everything; they want to attack you for everything. These people are more than happy to drag you through the digital mud with a smear campaign if you make a joke they don’t like or show you’re a supporter of something they disapprove of. Who would want to take the risk?

You’re making demands on Twitter for a project you’re not even involved in. What director in their right mind would cast someone who might argue with them on every decision or direction given and possibly threaten them with public slander and an online smear campaign if they didn’t do what you asked?

Your whining makes you a liability. Your harping makes you unpleasant. Literally no one wants to be around you. Maybe that’s why you’re not getting the job.

3. Stop Making the Occupation Be About Your Personal Life

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These messages don’t seem like they’re from someone who wants to compete in the marketplace. They read like someone who says, “I need a special association that will give ME a leg-up on the competition.

It sounds like you’re looking for special considerations because of personal business. That’s like a vet walking into a casting office saying they should be given first priority in a WWII film because they’re actual soldiers or a barber walking in saying he deserves the lead in Barbershop because he lives it every day.

Personal life does not give you more qualifications for a job. How about we return to point #1 and you actually get enough skill that you matter rather than attempting these dirty tricks to cut out your competition because frankly, you suck and you refuse to learn how to get better and worthy of people’s time.

4. In Acting, Looks Matter. Look the Part or Leave.

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Get yourself to the audition room. “We aren’t allowed in the audition room because we don’t look right…” Look, if you want a job as an actor, you have to be versatile or hit a specific look. If you’re a “woman” with a mustache and big hands and you’re 6’5”, that’s really going to limit your roles. Likewise, if you’re a “man” and you’re 5’4” and balding and more sort of effeminate, that’s going to limit your roles. Sorry, but this is the nature of the business.

You can play anything your body matches for. Stop making your “being trans” the thing that should land you jobs. I see these complaints about how “cis people can play anything but trans people can only play trans characters.” Maybe that’s because you, trans people complaining about this, don’t look normal enough to play a cis person. I don’t say this to be insulting, I say this to be honest with you.

Neil Patrick Harris is a gay man as we all know, but the roles that made him famous are all straight. If he could not appear as a straight man, he never would have been cast as Barney the womanizer in How I Met Your Mother. He wouldn’t have been cast as the nerdy Dr. Horrible in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and he wouldn’t have received any of the other roles he received if he didn’t visibly and characteristically fit the roles.

The same goes for you. If you look mannish as a transwoman, I’m sorry, but you won’t be getting the role of a ciswoman because you do not look the part. To be outraged that you didn’t get chosen because of the way you look when you’re attempting to work in a business that literally dictates who it hires based on their looks… is asinine. Get out of that occupation if you’re too sensitive to deal with it.

Or create your own studies, get your own budget, and discriminate against whoever you like while hiring whoever you like. Bet you wouldn’t have a problem with certain people never being cast if you were making the decisions, huh?

5. Your Opinion Literally Does Not Matter

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I feel like you need to hear this because you don’t… you don’t quite “get” it yourself…

Look, I doubt it’s that the team behind Ghost in a Shell didn’t “get” the controversy. It’s more like your whining doesn’t change anything. The director and actress like working together, it’s their time and financial commitment, and you’re a literal who with no say in this movie (or the last one).

I don’t know where this sense of entitlement came from or why you think you’re king, but calm down. Maybe you’d stop getting so hurt if you stopped believing people had to bend at the knee whenever you made a demand. No one cares about this… except you and a handful of other insane, self-righteous idiots.

6. Show Business is Still a Business

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What a lot of you people don’t seem to understand is that show business is still a business; there is a cost that goes into creating a product and a certain amount of return is required in order to not sink the studio.

Most directors, especially in Hollywood, will prefer stars that have a following over those that don’t. They will also look for actors who won’t break the budget — some films have much larger budgets than others (which is how some actors might make tens of millions on one project) and some actors who are friends with the director might be willing to negotiate a lower cost because they enjoy working together.

But in general, if a director can bring on an actor who already has a fanbase, then those are guaranteed income for the project and it is preferable to a questionable ROI. You might have a better chance of getting cast in a role, any role, if you have a loyal fanbase who will be there for you.

They say the same thing in the publishing world: you’re more likely to land a publisher for your first book if you can prove you have a fanbase. It can suck, but thems the rules of the game and if you don’t like it, leave. Find a different job.

7. Show Business Is Hard and You Picked It

To any of these actors claiming they can’t get roles that “should be for them…” Show business isn’t easy to break into. What you end up doing with posts like these is you sound like a whiny bitch who can’t or won’t put in the work necessary to make it. Instead, you want to cut the line by using whatever handicaps you can call upon to push your competition aside.

Millions of people want to act. Probably tens of millions. You’re not going to get to the front of the casting list by claiming victimhood. If you want to star in a movie or on stage, here are my suggestions:

  1. Stop complaining.
  2. Get off Twitter.
  3. Research and Practice
  4. Audition
  5. Fail
  6. Audition
  7. Fail
  8. Audition Until You Make It

That’s it. Sorry to break it to break it to you, but the secret sauce to this thing you want to do… it’s called hard work and it’s something only you can do if you want to succeed.

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