Scarlett Johansson backlash: ‘Political correctness’ comments were ‘taken out of context’

The Avengers: Endgame star was speaking to As If magazine when she was commented on the current hot topic of which actors should play which roles.

It’s an issue that has come up multiple times in Johansson’s career; including when she played the lead character in Ghost In The Shell – despite the fact that, in the comics the movie is based on, her character was Asian.

Then, she was announced to play a trans man in the film Rub and Tug; but pulled out amid huge public discussion on opportunities for trans actors in Hollywood, and the lack of on-screen representation.

She told As If that “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”, but acknowledged the “social reasons” why arguments are being made for more diverse casting choices.

Johansson quickly became the subject of a Twitter meme, with the “tree” comment being particularly widely mocked.

Now, she has clarified her thoughts – claiming her true feelings have not been made clear.

In a statement to Variety, she said: “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 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.”

Johansson is believed to currently be working on a Black Widow solo movie for Marvel, set sometime before she met her ultimate fate in April’s Avengers: Endgame.

The 34-year-old is also attached to upcoming Taika Waititi-ddirected comedy drama Jojo Rabbit, which is out in October.

She also stars with Adam Driver and Laura Dern in an untitled Noah Baumbach project – with no release date currently set.

Ray Liotta revealed of the concept: “I’m a lawyer in it. Adam’s [Driver] and Scarlett’s [Johansson] characters are going through a divorce, he comes to me, and I’m a lawyer who explains all these ways we can get stuff out of her in the divorce, and he’s, like ‘No, that’s too aggressive.’

“So he ends up going to court, and there he realizes that Scarlett has a lawyer who’s really aggressive. So then he’s, like, ‘Oh, s**t,’ and he comes back to me to represent him.”

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