ESC

ScarJo Tries to Backpedal on ‘I Can Play Anyone’ Comment After Backlash

Scarlett Johansson seems to be constantly embroiled in controversies over the roles she takes in films. There was Rub and Tug, where she was cast as a trans man and eventually left, Ghost in the Shell where she played a Japanese robot, the Avengers where people were very mad Black Widow wasn’t played by an actual Russian assassin/former child soldier and of course no one really believed her in Lucy as a woman who uses 100% of her brain.

While ScarJo has been somewhat contrite about these controversies in the past, it seems like being an internet punchline has caught up with her and she’s sick of it. TMZ reported Johansson is now defiant, saying she should play any role she wants. 

ScarJo opened up about politically correct casting to As If magazine (without directly mentioning her now-debunked role in “Rub and Tug”), saying … “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 added, “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,” going on to say … “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.” 

That went over about as well as you’d think, and EW reported shortly after that Johansson issued another statement on the quote. 

“The question I was answering in my conversation with the contemporary artist, David Salle, was about the confrontation between political correctness and art,” she continues. “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. I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.”

Image Comics publisher and Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen weighed in here with what I think is a really good and often overlooked point: these movies may not be made at all without ScarJo attached.

And there’s a point here, one we also made when first reporting on this story; who is starring in Rub and Tug after Johansson left? When is it going into production? When is it coming to theaters?

Johansson wants to walk this sort of tightrope where she’s saying “Well, of course I want more people of color to get more roles, but in a perfect world I would have been able to Al Jolson my way through Black Panther and I would have been the shuckingest, jivingest Wakandan ever.” She didn’t actually say that, by the way, this is a comedy website. I don’t want to end up on Snopes.

2
Leave a Reply

avatar
2 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
Perry de Havillandjay Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
jay
Guest
jay

The whole point of “acting” is that you pretend to be someone that you are not. It may be that a Caucasian playing a Japanese person is distracting and unconvincing, but the moral outrage is just … silly. Would the people who objected to Scarlett Johansson playing a Japanese robot have objected to her playing an American robot even though she’s not a robot? Would they object to a Korean actor playing a Japanese robot? Is it okay for a Norwegian to play a Swede, or a New Yorker to play someone from Chicago? Is it okay for a bald… Read more »

Perry de Havilland
Guest
Perry de Havilland

The whole identity politics outrage thing is preposterous. And trying to appease the neo-völkisch lunatics who push it is equally preposterous, when all they deserve is a well known contemptuous gesture.

Latest
Load more