Scarlett Johansson. Picture: Amy Sussman/Getty Images.
Scarlett Johansson. Picture: Amy Sussman/Getty Images.

Star’s comments spark furious backlash

Scarlett Johansson has sparked a furious backlash online after saying she should be able to play "any person or any tree or any animal".

Johansson has previously come under fire for playing a traditionally Japanese character in 2017's Ghost in the Shell and last year had to drop out of playing a transgender character in Rub & Tug.

In an interview with AS IF Magazine, Johansson argued "art should be free of restrictions".

"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," she said.

Scarlett Johansson came under fire for saying she should be able to play any person, tree or animal. Picture: Amy Sussman/Getty Images.
Scarlett Johansson came under fire for saying she should be able to play any person, tree or animal. Picture: Amy Sussman/Getty Images.

"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.

"I think society would be more connected if we just allowed others to have their own feelings and not expect everyone to feel the way we do."

Before long Johansson's comments sparked a furious response online, with many contrasting it with the backlash Halle Bailey received for being cast in The Little Mermaid :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, others just saw the funny side in the actress, claiming she should be able to play "any tree" she wanted:

 

 

 

 

Johansson later issued a statement addressing the controversy, claiming her words had been misrepresented for "clickbait".

Scarlett Johansson’s casting in Ghost in the Shell was controversial.
Scarlett Johansson’s casting in Ghost in the Shell was controversial.

"An interview that was recently published has been edited for clickbait and is widely taken out of context," 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 recognise that in reality, there is a widespread 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."



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