Getting mad at Scarlett Johansson for being a dumbass is like getting mad at a dog for eating its own vomit, but I can’t help it!
This week’s reason to roll your eyes at the Avengers’ star comes courtesy of an interview with As If magazine, a publication I’m not entirely unconvinced wasn’t conjured out of nowhere for the precise purpose of getting me mad this Monday morning.
In the interview, conducted by artist David Salle, Johansson — a white, cis woman who has received criticism for accepting roles that might perhaps be better suited for Asian and transmasculine actors — talks about “political correctness” when it comes to casting, adding that she “should be allowed to play any person.”
“Today there’s a lot of emphasis and conversation about what acting is and who we want to see represent ourselves on screen,” Johansson told Salle. “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.”
Two years ago, the actress received flack for playing the lead role in the Ghost in the Shell, which many viewed as whitewashing a Japanese character. The cycle repeated in 2018 when she accepted the lead role of a transmasculine gangster in Rub & Tug, though she soon withdrew from the part following criticism.
“There are a lot of social lines being drawn now, and a lot of political correctness is being reflected in art,” Johansson continued. “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.”
The actress issued a statement addressing the As If interview following backlash on social media, claiming that her comments had been taken “widely” out of context in order to produce “clickbait.”
“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,” said Johansson, per The Advocate. “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. I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.”