An estimated 500,000 women took to downtown Los Angeles over the weekend to demonstrate against the presidency of Donald Trump, and the myriad of factors that still contribute to gender inequality.
Scarlett Johansson was one of those women. The target of her ire: allies to the cause who then face their own troubling allegations. Allies like James Franco.
Referring to Franco’s support for the Time’s Up campaign, Johansson said “how could a person publicly stand by an organization that helps to provide support for victims of sexual assault while privately preying on people who have no power?”
After a beat, she looked up from her cue cards.
“I want my pin back, by the way.”
Franco attended the Golden Globes ceremony wearing a Time’s Up pin, in solidarity with the movement that is seeking to eliminate sexual harassment, assault, and abuse in working environments.
The actor was subsequently accused of sexual misconduct and exploitative behaviour by several women in the film industry.
While Johansson’s speech didn’t explicitly mention Franco, her representative confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that her statement was about The Disaster Artist‘s leading man.
Going on to dig from her own early history in the business and the skewed dynamics she encountered, Johansson said “I had to create a narrative that I was the cool girl who could hang in and hang out, and that sometimes meant compromising what felt right for me.”
That time has passed, Johansson said.
“I have made a promise to myself to be responsible to my self, that in order to trust my instincts I must first respect them.”
The comments have drawn criticism of their own. Johansson’s speech has been questioned in respect to her 2014 comments on accused sexual abuser Woody Allen, in which she said the incredibly detailed and serious allegations against the director were “all guesswork.”