Scarlett Johansson is clearing the air after a recent article published quotes in which the A-lister proclaims she has the right to pursue any and all roles that interest her, despite "politically correct" casting.
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"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," Johansson explained to AS IF Magazine. "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."
Soon after her comments from the magazine were released, they caused a massive stir online. "I will not be seeing any films that involves Scarlett Johansson moving forward. I do not want to give my money to someone who trivializes the oppression of trans people and diminishes the importance of our visibility," one user wrote.
"Scarlett Johansson is right. She should be allowed to play any role. But until marginalized people get equal representation and access to the opportunities she NOW enjoys, this is pretty low on the priority list and its sentiment’s meaning empty and mostly moot," another user chimed in.
Johansson released a statement over the weekend claiming her words had been misrepresented.
"An interview that was recently published has been edited for click bait and is widely taken out of context,” says Johansson in her statement, via multiple outlets. “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.”
She added: “I recognize that in reality, there is a widespread 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.”
The acclaimed 34-year-old found herself receiving immense pushback when she took the starring role in 2017’s Ghost in the Shell, the adaptation of a manga whose main character is traditionally Japanese.
Then, in 2018, Johansson signed on to play a transgender character in the film Rub & Tug. However, she has since left the project following a sweeping outcry from the LGBTQ community.
See more on Johansson below.