"...or any tree, or any animal"
Scarlett Johansson has said she should be allowed to play “any person”
Scarlett Johansson has been criticized for stating that she should be “allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal.”
In the past, Johansson found herself amidst a whitewashing controversy for playing Japanese cyborg policewoman Major Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost In The Shell. The American actress added fuel to the fire by claiming the role was about feminism not race.
Johansson gained even more notoriety for accepting the role of a trans gender man in gangster film Rub And Tug – a role she eventually dropped.
Now, the Avengers actress has stirred the pot once again by stating she should be able to be cast in any role.
Speaking to As If, Johansson said, “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.”
“There are a lot of social lines being drawn now, and a lot of political correctness is being reflected in art,” she continued.
When asked how she felt about the situation, Johansson responded, “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.”
Predictably, Johansson was mocked on social media for her comments with some referencing her tree comparison, whilst others drew comparisons with The Little Mermaid controversy.
So #ScarlettJohansson can play anybody but Halle Bailey gets cast as Ariel in #TheLittleMermaid and suddenly its “They should respect the source material” pic.twitter.com/eFISl2Fviw
— We’ll always have tumblr (@ohmygr0dd) July 14, 2019
y’all i’m shocked… i didn’t know scarlett johansson was in prisoner of azkaban pic.twitter.com/1qvpqSreVq
— emily (@pctterdiaries) July 14, 2019
i really wanted to know what would happen if you replaced scarlett johansson in lucy with an asian face turns it works just as well pic.twitter.com/B0218z1Cpx
— William Yu (@its_willyu) July 14, 2019
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
scarlett johansson’s next roles talking to each other pic.twitter.com/dLlTpku6Ca
— sutton (@nasaromanovas) July 13, 2019
Can’t believe Scarlett Johansson has come this far pic.twitter.com/yp68PmbJYQ
— Bobafettuccine (@thisiscry) July 15, 2019
Johansson has since responded to the controversy, claiming her comments were taken out of context and were “edited for click bait.”
In a statement, Johansson said, “An interview that was recently published 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.”
“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,” she continued. “I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.”