Daniella Greenbaum swings wild defending Scarlett Johansson (again)

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Daniella Greenbaum

Daniella Greenbaum / Wiki

Fired by the Business Insider for her Scarlett Johansson opinion has Daniella Greenbaum found a new home at the Washington Post?

The art of the fascist’s big lie: Tell people they are irreconcilably different from one another enough and they won’t just believe it, they will in essence fight for this lie, taking a swing and retreating to their respective corners over and over.

When I first read Daniella Greenbaum’s opinion published by the Business Insider I was incensed. All I read before calling her a bigot was the first line “Scarlett Johansson is the latest target of the social-justice warrior mob. The actress is being chastised for, well, acting”.

I felt my condemnation of Daniella Greenbaum vindicated when the Business Insider pulled her article and instituted a culturally sensitive editorial policy.

Greenbaum reasoned that since it’s acceptable for “a cis actor with no scientific experience being cast as a paleontologist” it should be fine for a cisgender woman to play a transgender role of any gender.

“It’s hard to imagine people having the same reaction in other scenarios — a rich actor being hired to play a poor person; an actor whose real-life parents were still living being hired to play an orphan; a perfectly nice, upstanding member of society being cast as a rapist; or an actor with no scientific experience being cast as a paleontologist.”

But conspicuously absent amongst her numerous hyperbolic analogies were examples of non-jewsish casting resulting in cultural misappropriation or any other actual minority comparisons for that matter.

In her article Greenbaum essentially erased our existence by not recognizing trans people as a valid minority,

But then I went to her twitter and I saw a conservative capable of critical introspection so I read her article which I have copied here via Google cache. I felt at that moment that we might find a middle ground.

Scarlett Johansson is being unfairly criticized for doing her job after being cast as a transgender man

  • She’s a cisgender woman playing a transgender man. Most people would call it acting. Others are calling it insensitive.
  • Scarlett Johansson is being criticized for doing her job.

Scarlett Johansson is the latest target of the social-justice warrior mob. The actress is being chastised for, well, acting.

She has been cast in a movie in which she will play someone different than herself. For this great crime — which seems to essentially define the career path she has chosen — she is being castigated for being insufficiently sensitive to the transgender community.

Johansson is set to play a transgender man in an upcoming film, “Rub and Tug,” a film based on the true story of transgender massage parlor owner Dante “Tex” Gill. The announcement quickly garnered a reaction.

Trace Lysette, a transgender actress who plays Shea on “Transparent” took to Twitter: “And not only do you play us and steal our narrative and our opportunity but you pat yourselves on the back with trophies and accolades for mimicking what we have lived… so twisted. I’m so done.”

Her framing of the issue, which has been echoed by other actors and activists, is off base. “Stealing” narratives — or, more charitably, playing parts — is precisely what actors are hired to do. But that reality seems to have been forgotten. CNN wrote a story about the issue entitled, “These trans actors could have been cast instead of Scarlett Johansson in her new movie.”

It’s hard to imagine people having the same reaction in other scenarios — a rich actor being hired to play a poor person; an actor whose real-life parents were still living being hired to play an orphan; a perfectly nice, upstanding member of society being cast as a rapist; or an actor with no scientific experience being cast as a paleontologist.

Yet all of these examples (and dozens more) could also be strangely characterized as “stealing” narratives. I’m sure there’s a class on how to do just that at the Yale school of Drama.

A New York Times story on the fallout described the online backlash as being “led by transgender actors, who argued that such casting decisions take opportunities away from members of marginalized communities.”

What they fail to acknowledge is that the job of an actor is to represent someone else. Johansson’s identity off the screen is irrelevant to the identities she plays on the screen. That’s what she’s paid for. And if she does her job, she’ll make everyone forget about the controversy in the first place.

It’s pretty obvious that with a little editing of the inflammatory phrases that this article wouldn’t have received the negative blowback that it did. I probably wouldn’t have even been aware of it. But that was an intentional wild swing by Greenbaum.

So Daniella Greenbaum quit the Business Insider publishing this opinion on the Washington Post.

I had actually left this article unpublished after Scarlett Johansson left Rub and Tug so gracefully. I felt it was all water under the bridge. Greenbaum had her say and was fired for it and rehired had another outlet to espouse her opinions.

That is until I saw her  tweet today:

Daniella Greenbaum

My first piece for @nypost. Scarlett’s decision is a shame, and only bolsters the mob’s place in the foodchain. Beware a predator that knows it’s strength.

We are the “Mob” that she is referring to. Our ‘mob’ faces overwhelming discrimination at every turn. We are the targets of hate, last year we were killed at record numbers. Only boosters the mobs place in the food chain? And to call us ‘predators’ is downright hateful.

I was really ready to meet Daniella Greenbaum in the middle. But I won’t see here there. She’s already taken another swing.

The Washington Post code of ethics.

The Washington Post as a newspaper respects taste and decency, understanding that society’s concepts of taste and decency are constantly changing. A word offensive to the last generation can be part of the next generation’s common vocabulary. But we shall avoid prurience.

Social Media

Post journalists must refrain from writing, tweeting or posting anything — including photographs or video — that could be perceived as reflecting political, racial, sexist, religious or other bias or favoritism that could be used to tarnish our journalistic credibility.

I understand that Daniella Greenbaum is an opinion writer but in my opinion, her latest tweet clearly stepped over the line.

Editor in Chief at

Kelli Busey an outspoken gonzo style journalist has been writing since 2007. In 2008, she brought the Dallas Advocate on-line and has articles published by the Reconciling Ministries Network, The Transsexual Menace, The Daily Kos, Frock Magazine the TransAdvocate, the Dallas Voice and The Advocate. Kelli, an avid runner is editor in chief at Planet Transgender which she founded in 2007.

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