Scarlett Johansson Clarifies Comments on Political Correctness and Casting

She gad pulled out of a movie that cast her as a transgender character, following criticism, and recently came under fire again following coverage of an interview about political correctness in art.

By Corinne Heller Jul 14, 2019 5:17 PMTags
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Scarlett Johansson wants to clarify remarks she made in an interview about politically correctness, following fresh controversy.

Almost exactly a year ago, the 34-year-old actress pulled out of the movie Rub & Tug, in which she was set to play a transgender character, following criticism from some members of the LGBT community and allies who believe a transgender performer should get the role. Johansson recently came under fire again following some media coverage of comments she made about political correctness in art in an interview with artist David Salle for AS IF magazine, published last week.

"An interview that was recently published has been edited for click bait and is widely taken out of context," Johansson said in a statement via her rep on Sunday. "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."

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In her magazine interview, Johansson had mentioned how "acting goes through trends." When asked if the industry was seeing any particular trends today, she said there were "certainly trends in casting right now."

 "Today there's a lot of emphasis and conversation about what acting is and who we want to see represent ourselves on screen," she said. "The question now is, what is acting anyway?" 

While discussing the idea of who gets to play what roles, 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 the job."

She was then asked, "Must you only represent yourself, your gender, your ethnicity, or can you, in fact, play beyond these categories?"

"There are a lot of social lines being drawn now, "and a lot of political correctness is being reflected in art," the actress replied.

—Reporting by Elyse Dupre