Scarlett Johansson said comments she made in an interview last week regarding the roles she should be allowed to play, were taken out of context and “edited for clickbait.”
In an interview with As If magazine published last week, Johansson said that as an actor, she “should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job.”
Her response was swiftly criticized online as the actor has faced previous controversies surrounding her casting in minority roles.
In an a statement to BuzzFeed News on Monday, the actor clarified her comments, saying she was having a conversation with the artist David Salle, about the “confrontation between political correctness and art.”
“I personally feel that, in an ideal world, any actor should be able to play anybody and Art, in all forms, should be immune to political correctness,” she said in a statement. “That is the point I was making, albeit didn’t come across that way.”
The actor said she recognized her industry “favors Caucasian, cis gendered actors” and that “not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to”
Johansson said she has always supported “diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.”
Johansson’s As If interview echoed the actor’s growing history of controversies regarding representation and inclusion in Hollywood.
In 2017 after the first images of Johansson in Ghost in the Shell were released, the actor was criticized for playing the lede in a move based on a popular Japanese manga.
The following year, after widespread criticism, including from actors Trace Lysette and Jamie Clayton, Johansson withdrew from playing the role of Dante “Tex” Gill, a transgender man, in a film called Rub & Tug.
Amid the backlash in 2018 the actor’s publicist said, “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”
Tambor (Transparent) , Leto (Dallas Buyers Club), and Huffman (Transamerica) have all played trans actors, and they all received critical acclaim for their performances.
Johansson’s decisions to play the roles of marginalized people has been the source of constant memes.
“I loved Scarlet Johansson as the lead of black panther,” one person wrote recently.
Jokes to her many blunders have become a long-running theme online.
Or this one from July of 2018.
You can read Johansson’s complete statement regarding the latest backlash below:
An interview that was recently published has been edited for click bait and is widely taken out of context. The question I was answering in my conversation with the contemporary artist, David Salle, was about the confrontation between political correctness and art. I personally feel that, in an ideal world, any actor should be able to play anybody and Art, in all forms, should be immune to political correctness. That is the point I was making, albeit didn’t come across that way. I recognize that in reality, there is a wide spread discrepancy amongst my industry that favors Caucasian, cis gendered actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to. I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.
- Scarlett Johansson Quit That Film Where She Was Set To Play A Trans Man After LGBT OutrageMichael Blackmon · July 13, 2018
- Two Trans Actors Have Spoken Out About Casting In Hollywood Amid Scarlett Johansson DramaMichael Blackmon · July 5, 2018
- People Are Outraged Over The First Photo Of Scarlett Johansson In “Ghost In The Shell”Susan Cheng · April 14, 2016
- Dozens Of Hollywood Organizations Pledge To Prioritize Transgender Storytelling In The IndustryMichael Blackmon · Aug. 7, 2018
Michael Blackmon is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Michael Blackmon at [email protected].
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