Joe Simonson, DCNF
Business Insider removed a column by one of its own staff writers defending Scarlett Johansson portraying a transgender man in an upcoming film after a number of the outlet’s employees complained internally.
Daniella Greenbaum published the column “Scarlett Johansson is being unfairly criticized for doing her job after being cast as a transgender man,” on Friday and defended the actress’s decision to play the role after some expressed outrage over a non-transgender individual portraying a fictional member of the LGBT community.
“The job of an actor is to represent someone else,” Greenbaum wrote. “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.”
A number of BI employees were offended by the column and decided to take their issues to management, resulting in the piece being taken down later that day, according to The Daily Beast.
BI added an editors note on Tuesday saying that “Business Insider removed the column because, upon further review, we decided it did not meet our editorial standards.”
As a result, the outlet released a new set of editorial policies around “culturally sensitive topics, such as marginalized communities, race, or LGTBQ+ issues.”
In an internal email provided to The Daily Beast, BI editor-in-chief Nich Carlson said all further “culturally sensitive columns, analysis, and opinion pieces” would be reviewed by senior editors prior to publication.
“Editors should make sure we are not publishing shallow, ‘hot takes,’ but instead, fully thought-out arguments that reflect and respect the opposing view,” Carlson said. “There should be no partisan name-calling, e.g. ‘social justice warriors,’ ‘libtards,’ or ‘rednecks.’ Opinion and arguments should feel reported and researched, and not like quick reactions.”
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