Scarlett Johansson Backtracks On Controversial Casting Comments

Scarlett Johansson appears on the red carpet
Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Scarlett Johansson recently caused a stir in an interview with As If Magazine when she claimed she should be able to play “any person, or any tree, or any animal.”

Now, the Avengers: Endgame actress is saying her comments were taken out of context. According to Variety, Johansson claims her words about politically correct casting were edited for click bait.

“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,” said the actress who clarified that her comments to American painter David Salle were about political correctness in art.

“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 further stated. “I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.”

The controversy stems from past roles the actress has played. In 2017, Johansson starred in Ghost in the Shell as Major Mira Killian. The film, which was based on a Japanese manga, is set in the near future and was shot in Hong Kong. Johansson received criticism for playing a character who fans thought should be played by a Japanese actress.

The actress came under fire again recently when news that she had been cast in a transgender role spread. As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Johansson was set to play Dante “Tex” Gill in the upcoming Rub & Tug. The actress received backlash from the LGBTQ community for not allowing the role to go to a transgender actor, who they felt are traditionally marginalized and not offered enough onscreen roles. The actress originally pushed back against criticism before ultimately pulling out of the role.

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After Johansson said she was taken out of context, As If published the entire Q&A with the actress and Salle.

Despite the controversy, the actress is working on a number of upcoming films. Jojo Rabbit, a dark comedy in which Johansson plays a single mother who is hiding a Jewish girl during the Second World War, will be released later in the year. She’s also set to star in an upcoming Noah Baumbach film alongside Adam Driver. And, the actress will reprise her role as Natasha Romanoff in an upcoming Black Widow project.

There’s no word on if she’s in talks to play any trees.