Scarlett Johansson has pulled out of her transgender role in 'Rub & Tug' after she was heavily criticised by the LGBT community.

The 33-year-old actress was cast as a mob-connected massage parlour owner - who was a woman but lived life as a man - in the movie, but she's since decided to step down after some claimed the role should have gone to a transgender actor instead.

Speaking to Out magazine, she said: "I've learned a lot from the community since making my first statement.

"While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante's story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person.

"I am thankful that this casting debate... has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film."

When the news of her casting came out, fans took to their social networking sites to slam the decision and claimed it proved how many limited opportunities there were for transgender actors.

However, Johansson was initially quite defiant and told anyone who had a problem with her casting to speak to the director.

She said in a statement: "Tell them they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment."