Scarlett Johansson is probably best known for two things: her impressive acting repertoire, and the memes about her acting repertoire. While she remains a well-respected actor certain casting decisions, like her role in Ghost in the Shell, has marked her forever in popular culture. Now, a joke about her taking on any and all roles — from the Thai boys in the rescue cave mission to Mahatma Gandhi — lives in perpetuity on the internet.
An interview of Scarlett Johansson with As If magazine has only fueled those jokes. Certain quotes have made the topic relevant once again. On the topic of political correctness as a trend in Hollywood nowadays she stated: “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 had been discussing Hollywood’s current preoccupation “about what acting is and who we want to see represent ourselves on-screen” and how that pushes the question of what acting is in the first place. While she disclaimed that she understood the importance of social lines and political correctness in acting, she maintained that “art should be free of restrictions.”
In a statement to PEOPLE magazine, Johansson asserts the quotes as they appeared on other publications were misused:
An interview that was recently published has been edited for click bait and is widely taken out of context. 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. I continue to support and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.
Do you agree or disagree with her sentiment? Let us know why in the comments!