Scarlett Johansson has spoken out after a recent interview all but reignited a couple of casting controversies from her ye olde past.
As part of an in-depth feature with As If magazine, 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.”
“I feel like it’s a trend [political correctness] 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.”
You don’t need to hit up social media to see how that went down with a number of people.
Today, in a statement to Entertainment Weekly, Johansson said her comments – while accurate – 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,” she explained.
“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.”
On a positive note, Johansson did acknowledge her privilege.
I recognise that in reality, there is a wide spread 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.
Last year, after intense backlash, Johansson dropped out of starring in a biographical movie as Dante “Tex” Gill, a trans man. The actor initially dismissed the criticism, instead pointing her detractors to other actors who had all portrayed trans characters in the past. When that blew up in her face, Johansson apologised for her “insensitive” first statement.
In 2017, the actor faced a barrage of hate when she starred as Motoko Kusanagi, the main character in Japanese manga Ghost in the Shell.