Scarlett Johansson was put under fire again this week when she made some comments about political correct casting that didn’t go over so well with many people — and they reacted as such on social media.
The Daily Mail published parts of an interview she did with As If magazine. “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,” she was quoted. “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.” This led to a severe outcry on social media.
In a statement she gave to Entertainment Weekly, the Avengers: Endgame actress clarified her remarks and said that they were “edited for click bait” and “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,” she said. “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.”
It has been a bit of rocky road for Johansson when it comes to navigating the topic of diversity and inclusive casting in Hollywood. Many in the Asian American community criticized her for taking the lead role in the 2017 live-action adaptation of the anime Ghost in the Shell. Last year, she received backlash for her recent choice to play massage parlor owner Dante “Tex” Gill in the mob drama Rub & Tug. The real-life Gill was born as Lois Jean Gill, but identified as a man — which is a detail in the role that has sparked backlash primarily from the LGTBQ community. She seemed to double down amidst scrutiny when she released a statement saying, “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.” In the end, she ended up exiting the project.