Scarlett Johansson received some backlash for a comment she made during an interview about being able to play any character…even a tree.
What We Know:
- In an interview with As If Magazine, Johansson touched on a topic that she’s been ridiculed about before.
- “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 said. “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.”
- People on Twitter were quick to disagree with the actress’ comments. With some making note of the fact that white actresses like Johansson have far more opportunities in Hollywood than marginalized groups.
When trans people are “allowed to play any person,” when prominent roles stop being whitewashed, then Scarlett Johansson can have a moan. Until then, please spare us your “political correctness gone mad” bullshit https://t.co/OZ8QUTuj9j
— Dean Van Nguyen (@deanvannguyen) July 13, 2019
The people who lost their shit when a black actress was cast to play a mermaid were very quick to defend Scarlett Johansson’s right to play whoever she wants.
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) July 14, 2019
Casting actors from underrepresented groups is not “political correctness” but good artistic practice!!! I would argue that the best art IS stories that feature people on the margins. Sick of seeing inclusion framed as contrary to “art.”
— Nancy Wang Yuen (@nancywyuen) July 14, 2019
- In 2018, Johansson agreed to play a transgender man in the movie “Rub & Tug,” but later removed herself from the role after receiving backlash from the LGBTQ community. In 2017, she faced another controversy for playing an Asian character in the movie “Ghost In The Shell.”
- The actress issued a statement to Variety to clear the air, saying that media outlets used her as “clickbait” and misinterpreted her comment. “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.”
People noted the hypocrisy between Johansson’s comments and the racist backlash singer and actress Halle Bailey received after being cast to play Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.”