She's set to star as a woman transitioning to a man

Scarlett Johansson's issued a statement after facing a backlash for accepting a role as a transgender man in upcoming film 'Rub and Tug'.

The Avengers star's told online magazine Bustle any criticism can be directed to the reps of Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman.

The three actors have all played transgender roles in the past.

Jared Leto also won an Oscar playing a trans woman in 'Dallas Buyers Club' in 2013.

'Rub & Tug' tells the true-life story of Dante "Tex" Gill, transitioning from female to male, who managed an empire of illicit massage parlours in Pittsburgh during the 1970s.

However, some people have called Johansson's casting highly problematic.

People on Twitter were quick to react, with nefertariey writing: "So first scarlet johansson, a white cis woman, takes the role of ghost in the shell and now she's playing as a transgender person with the same director?"

Cisgender, or cis for short, is the term for people who identify as the sex they were assigned at birth.

User Antiomi wrote on Twitter: "Roles portraying members of oppressed communities should be played by actors from those communities. It's really not that hard. Scarlett Johansson has done this twice now. There's no excuse."

Others could see no issue with the casting, with Sid Woodram tweeting: "If people can only play roles that represent them, LGBT actors will have a lot less roles".

The 33-year-old actress faced accusations of "whitewashing" after being cast as cyborg soldier Mira Killian / Major Kusanagi - a role originally written as east Asian - in futuristic crime drama 'Ghost In The Shell'.