Scarlett Johansson drew the ire of plenty of fans recently after speaking out against her previous casting controversies. Now, the actress is coming forward and claiming that her comments were taken out of context in order to draw more attention to the interview as a whole.
In her own words:
“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 widespread discrepancy amongst my industry that favours 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.”
Unfortunately, this response hasn’t curtailed any of the backlash Johansson’s been receiving. While some may believe that the 34-year-old is telling the truth, plenty more are saying that her carefully constructed words are nothing more than an apparent walk back after all of the criticism she’s been getting. Others, meanwhile, feel that the actress’ recent clarification hasn’t gone far enough in acknowledging the whitewashing involved in so many of the roles she’s taken on.
The entire ordeal started back in 2015 when Johansson accepted the lead in the adaption of the anime Ghost in the Shell. Many felt at the time that the studio was whitewashing the source material by casting a white actress as the originally Asian character. The film ultimately bombed at the box office due in no small part to the aforementioned controversy and fans had hoped that Johansson learned her lesson and wouldn’t make the same mistake again.
Unfortunately, a similar issue arose earlier this year when the actress accepted the part of a transgender man in the upcoming movie Rub and Tug. Backlash from the public forced her to step down from the role and in a recent interview, Johansson seemingly pushed back against the visceral reactions directed at her for taking on these parts meant for minorities by saying:
“You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job. I feel like it’s a trend in my business and it needs to happen for various social reasons, yet there are times it does get uncomfortable when it affects the art because I feel art should be free of restrictions. I think society would be more connected if we just allowed others to have their own feelings and not expect everyone to feel the way we do.”
She’s since backpedaled from those comments, but many people still aren’t happy. It remains to be seen if the superstar will continue to take on roles meant for other races/gender identities or if she’s finally learned from her mistakes. One thing’s definitely certain, though: Scarlett Johansson should consider getting a new publicist.